Netherlands Communications - 2021


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Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 5.56 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 32.31 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 21.762 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 126.45 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 55

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

highly developed and well maintained; Dutch telecom market is gradually migrating to upgraded platforms; operators repurposing their spectrum and physical assets for LTE and 5G; one of the highest fixed broadband penetration rates in the world, with competition between DSL and fiber networks; fixed-line voice market is in decline while VoIP and mobile platforms advance; plans for 3G network shutdown in 2023; operators are concentrating investment on LTE-A and 5G services; operators and banks launch m-payments system; adoption of smart city concepts and technology in major cities; major exporter of broadcasting equipment and computers to Europe, and importer of same from China (2021)


domestic: extensive fixed-line, fiber-optic network; large cellular telephone system with five major operators utilizing the third generation of the Global System for Mobile Communications technology; one in five households now use Voice over the Internet Protocol services; fixed-line 33 per 100 and mobile-cellular 127 per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 31; landing points for Farland North, TAT-14, Circe North, Concerto, Ulysses 2, AC-1, UK-Netherlands 14, and COBRAcable submarine cables which provide links to the US and Europe; satellite earth stations - 5 (3 Intelsat - 1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

more than 90% of households are connected to cable or satellite TV systems that provide a wide range of domestic and foreign channels; public service broadcast system includes multiple broadcasters, 3 with a national reach and the remainder operating in regional and local markets; 2 major nationwide commercial television companies, each with 3 or more stations, and many commercial TV stations in regional and local markets; nearly 600 radio stations with a mix of public and private stations providing national or regional coverage

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 16,243,928

percent of population: 94.71% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 41

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 7.459 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 43.34 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

NOTE: The information regarding Netherlands on this page is re-published from the 2021 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Netherlands 2021 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Netherlands 2021 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 16 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.