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Price competition bites as KPN sees TV base decline

Dutch telco KPN saw its IPTV base decline in the first quarter, along with its overall base of converged households, as price competition, particularly from local fibre providers, began to bite.

KPN has been accustomed to attrition of its small Digitenne digital-terrestrial TV base, but its IPTV base has also declined for each quarter of the last year and stood at 2.161 million at the end of March, down from 2.17 million in December.

Digitenne’s base meanwhile declined from 156,000 to 147,000 over the same period.

KPN’s overall converged household base declined by 18,000 from December to 1,384 million at the end of Q1. The base represents 49% of broadband customers, flat quarter-on-quarter. Broadband numbers were down by 25,000. KPN added 13k fibre customers in the first quarter

The converged postpaid mobile customer base declined by 21,000 over the same period and now represents 62% of postpaid customers, down from 63%.

The company said that decline in converged, broadband and IPTV customers was mainly driven by strong competition, reflected in aggressive promotions in the fixed market and by increased competition from local fibre operators in rural areas.

While the coronavirus had a limited impact in Q1, CEO Joost Farwerck said that the virus represented “an unprecedented challenge” and that it was “as of yet premature to estimate the duration of this situation through the remainder of 2020, as well as how it will impact our customers and KPN for 2020”.