The Dutch Energy Company (NLE) officially launched telecom services on 17 October under the NLEx name. NLEx will provide all-in-one services over DSL for EUR 29.95 per month. The monthly price will apply to all three versions, namely 20/2, 50/5 and 100/10 Mbps, and will be valid for the first year. NLEX uses KPN’s copper and fibre network. The fibre deal with 50/50 Mbps will cost EUR 43.50 per month, with the 100/100 Mbps deal costing EUR 51.00 and the 500/500 Mbps deal priced at EUR 67.50. NLE provides interactive TV from KPN. The TV packages will expand to include Ziggo Total Sports, HBO and Fox Sports. Fox Sports Eredivisie will cost EUR 7.50 per month.
Households signing up to NLEx will get free installation when they switch from Ziggo or step over to fibre.
NLE provides WiFi coverage via a Wi-check, with a free Wi-amplifier and the ability to expand coverage (for a fee) with sophisticated heat maps, analyses and reports of Wi-Fi coverage in and around the house.
The standard TV package comes with 70 channels. The standard TV package and fixed calling come with no extra costs. The company will also provide broader packages. Unlimited calling to fixed numbers will cost EUR 5 per month, the same as unlimited calling to mobile numbers and unlimited calling to international numbers.
Broader packages are also available for TV deals, with the choice of different decoders. The first decoder is included in the package price, with every added one priced at EUR 4 per month, for a maximum of five. Energy customers who also take up an all-in-one deal will get a EUR 25 discount.
The official launch of NLEx will be accompanied by an advertising campaign on the public broadcasters. With the ads, NLE will have two tag-ons, one for its telecommunication services and the other for its energy services.
NLE announced its entry onto the telecom market in April, and said it wants to 10 percent of the market in five years time. The company said it was able to take 7 percent of the market in 10 years, with almost 800,000 connections. CEO Harald Swinkels told Telecompaper that this was a “healthy ambition.” “It’s a big outrageous goal, not a hard target. At NLE for the energy market, and now also for the telecom market, we have the motto, ‘We will not take ourselves too seriously.’ I do not mean to demean the loal, but only show that we have healthy ambition.”
Recruiting customers with price and service
Swinkels continued: “We certainly see potential to become a significant player in this market. In the Netherlands, challengers to the existing market -and not only in telecom- are seen with a sympathetic eye. We are going to count on that. We have the following strategy: you win customers with good prices and keep them with good services. We will put a very competitive price in the market and so attract customers. It will then be up to us to retain them by offering them good services, making them feel at home. “
“First, we will approach the 15,000 subscribers who signed up in advance; I don’t know the cancellation rate for them. NLE is aware of the fear of switching in the telecom sector, but our energy customers have all switched. So we see with our customer base that they do dare to make that step. We have also asked our customers what they think about our telecom ambitions. Many said they see an advantage in having one place for energy and telecom. We will start from there.”
A few years ago, NLE launched smart thermostat Anna, with a total, now, of 150,000 active users for its smart meter app. Swinkels eventually wants to further developm its business towards smart home applications. The same applies to mobile telecom services. “These are goals we still have but we will now concentrate on the first step (for telecom). We have long prepared for this launch, because it is into a different market. We wanted to do this for years, but waited until we had a positive NPS score, which now stands at +16. Then we thoroughly tested the systems and are now ready to enter the market for fixed services. We remain away from the content market, which is yet another world”
Telecompaper is organising a Telecom Insights Conference for Wednesday 16 November.