In the period 1995–2006, the number of Dutch telecom shops as well as the number of mobile phone connections and the amount spent on mobile phones has soared.
Seven times as many telecom shops
On 1 January 2006, there were 900 telecom shops in the Netherlands, as against 115 on 1 January 1995, a sevenfold increase. The most substantial increase was recorded in the provinces of South Holland and Limburg, the smallest in Overijssel.
Telecom shops in the Netherlands on 1 January
Most shops in western part of the country
At the beginning of 2006, there were on average just over 5 telecom shops per 100 thousand residents. With 8 and 6 per 100 thousand residents respectively, the highest rates were found in the provinces of North and South Holland. The northern part of the Randstad region has the highest rate with nearly 10 shops per 100 thousand residents. The provinces of Drenthe and Groningen account for the lowest rate (3 per 100 thousand residents).
Average number of telecom shops, 2006
More mobile phones
The increase in telecom shops coincided with an increase in mobile phone owners. In 1995, there were only three mobile phone connections per 100 residents. In 2005, the mobile phone connection rate was 100. Only in Finland and the United Kingdom the connection rate per 100 residents is higher (102 and 109 respectively).
In 2005, only 9 percent of Dutch households had no mobile phone; 4 percent, on the other hand, were not connected to the fixed telephone network, but only used a mobile phone.
Mobile phone connections in European countries
Call charges four times as high in 2005 as in 1998
The amount spent on mobile phones and mobile call charges continues to rise. Total mobile call charges increased from 78 euro a year in 1998 to 305 euro in 2005.
The average overall costs of calling over the fixed telephone network have risen by only 60 percent from 364 euro to 592 euro over the same period.