In the fourth quarter, growth reached 0.4 percent, according to the latest research from Telecompaper. Ziggo was the biggest broadband provider with 43.4 percent of connections at year-end.
The number of cable broadband connections rose 1.5 percent last year to 3.42 million, following a growth spurt in the second half of the year. Fibre grew an even faster 4.9 percent to 1.16 million connections, while DSL was down by 0.7 percent in 2017 to 2.85 million subscribers.
Cable operator Ziggo increased its market share by 0.3 percent points last year to 43.3 percent. KPN added 0.6 points to 41.0 percent, helped by its takeover of Solcon in Q3. Without the acquisition, KPN’s market share would have fallen by 0.1 percent.
Tele2 and T-Mobile, the two smaller providers planning to merge, ended the year with a combined share of 6.7 percent. Tele2’s share fell by 0.3 percent points to 4.1 percent, while T-Mobile grew by 0.4 points to 2.6 percent.
The other new combination is Delta and Caiway, both of which were acquired by the investment fund EQT last year. Caiway had a stable share of 2.1 percent last year, after winning 7,000 new broadband customers. Zeeland-based Delta took 1.4 percent of broadband connections, unchanged compared to 2016. Delta expects to grow in 2018 as it expands outside its cable footprint to fibre networks in other regions.
According to the quarterly report from Telecompaper, the fixed broadband market is expected to grow an average 1 percent per year over the next five years. Growth is slowing compared to 2.6 percent in 2016 and 3.3 percent in 2015 as saturation takes over. Already over 94 percent of households have broadband. Growth going forward will be driven mainly by population and household growth.
Total revenues in the broadband market reached EUR 487 million in Q4 2017, up 0.6 percent from Q3. Over the full year, the market grew 3 percent to EUR 1.914 billion. Telecompaper expects a CAGR of 0.9 percent in the period 2018-2022, as low-cost players such as NLE and Youfone attract more multi-play customers.