The share of individuals with access to the internet grew from 80 percent in 2012 to approximately 96 percent in 2017. To put it in perspective, only Luxembourg and Norway had a higher percentage of broadband internet usage than the Netherlands. Furthermore, the share of individuals using internet through their smartphone saw a steady increase. If in 2014 56.8 percent of consumers used internet on their phone, in 2017 this figure grew to 80 percent.
The smartphone penetration rate grew from approximately 70 percent in 2014 to 88 percent in 2017. Narrowing the penetration rate of phones down to age, it is not surprising that young people had the highest usage rate. Nearly 99 percent of 13- to 19-year-old individuals indicated to use a smartphone, whereas the 50-64 age group was less with approximately 80 percent. The functionality of the smartphone has one clear use among consumers: going online. 86 percent of the online population used their phone for surfing on the internet. Social media, on the other hand, was used by 68 percent, whereas banking was done by a little over 50 percent of respondents.
In terms of mobile phone subscriptions, individuals in the Netherlands do have a large number of providers to choose from. Based on a survey of used mobile subscription providers in 2017, 29 percent of respondents indicated to have KPN, whereas 17 percent mentioned T-Mobile and Vodafone as their provider. However, Ziggo was the most used provider for internet subscriptions. 44 percent of respondents pointed out they used Ziggo for their internet, whereas 30 and four percent mentioned KPN and Telfort respectively. Note that nowadays Vodafone and Ziggo (Liberty Global) combined their activities as a joint venture in the Netherlands. Therefore, figures for 2018 will shift.
With the rise of mobile phones and the wireless service provisions, quad play packages (also known as ''The Fantastic Four'') became more popular year by year. Quad play packages combine triple play service of broadband internet access, television and telephone with wireless service provisions. As of the fourth quarter of 2017, 30 percent of the retail connections of bundles services were quad play, compared to 13 percent in 2016. KPN and VodafoneZiggo had, both with 45 percent, the highest shares in broadband connections in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The Dutch telecommunications market is an intense and competitive one. With so many options available for clients, providers do everything to grab the consumers attention. New developments such as cooperation between providers shifts the market, forcing other players in the market to adapt.