Monday, October 17, 2005

Vodafone Netherlands 10 years

Last Saturday, Vodafone celebrated its 10 year anniversary in the Netherlands. The company celebrated the event by offering clients free calls in the Netherlands from 18 till 24h.

The company started 10 years ago under the name Libertel. It was one of the five companies offering mobile. Better defined, it was one of the four companies putting up competition to the incumbent KPN. And they gave them a run for their life.

The Dutch market counts more than 16 million mobiles. Given the number of Dutch inhabiltants of 16,4 million people every Dutch child get a mobile at birth!

In 2004 the market shares were as follows:
1) KPN 38,6 per cent;
2) Vodafone 27,9 per cent;
3) T-Mobile 16,4 per cent;
4) Orange 9,3 per cent;
5) Telfort 7,8 per cent.

The market has changed since the stocktaking as Telfort was acquired by KPN. Presently Vodafone has 3,9 million subscribers in the Netherlands, with 56 per cent pre-paid and 44 per cent subscribers.

Vodafone has had some rough years in competing. Between 2001 and 2003 the company had developed an arrogant attitude. The method to persuade subscribers that wanted to leave were dubious, as the former subscribers got an offer for a mobile bundle which was more expensive that the bundle they had. But from 2003 onwards it started to move in another direction which has delivered them more subscribers.

Vodafone has done well and has built up an innovative image. It is especially active with mobile content. It was fast on establishing UMTS and is experimenting with content on UMTS. Last year the company was instrumental in launching a TV station only intended for mobiles, TV2GO. This station has been set up by Dutch celebrities and it presents short movies on lifestyle, cars, fashion and the like.

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