T-Mobile Netherlands launches ‘4G for home’ to target FMC rivals

T-Mobile Netherlands aims to capture subscribers from converged rivals with '4G for home'

T-Mobile Netherlands launched a new ‘4G for home’ (‘4G voor Thuis’) service that is clearly designed to target rival operators with converged fixed and mobile (FMC) offerings.

The operator is positioning the service as an “alternative to households that suffer from slow or unstable Internet via the landline.” Three bundles will be offered to subscribers with a choice of 25 GB for €30 ($33), 50 GB for €40 or 100 GB for €50 per month. It will also be possible to adjust subscriptions or even pause them as required, and customers will also be able to trial the service for a month.

The move represents the next salvo in efforts to revive the struggling mobile operator, which has been a thorn in the side of Deutsche Telekom’s Europe division for some time. T-Mobile Netherlands is somewhat at odds with the Europe division’s convergence-led strategy, and its position has been made worse by the merger of Vodafone Netherlands with Dutch cable operator Ziggo.

KPN has also made great strides with its FMC bundle, called KPN Compleet. Earlier in October, the former incumbent said it now serves 1 million households with FMC services in the Netherlands.

Deutsche Telekom has thus been under growing pressure to create a successful strategy for its Dutch unit -- especially after previous attempts to sell the unit came to nothing. In June, the German parent co-designed a new “Mobile First” strategy with T-Mobile Netherlands, together with a new branding campaign and management team for the Dutch unit.

Taking inspiration from Deutsche Telekom’s more successful mobile-only player in the U.S., the idea is to exploit the company’s main asset: a high-performance mobile network.

Natasha Rybak, principal analyst at Current Analysis, said the ability to offer an alternative home broadband service based on 4G is critical for a mobile-only challenger like T-Mobile Netherlands.

“The operator needs to leverage its 4G assets to best advantage while presenting some kind of fixed broadband counter and maintaining a disruptor profile,” Rybak said.

However, she also noted that 4G voor Thuis “is aimed at a very specific, outlier demographic, limiting its potential reach and market impact. Still, the ability to ‘pause’ the service on a monthly basis is an interesting feature,” she concluded.

Tisha Lambs, director of consumer marketing at T-Mobile Netherlands, went as far as to claim that “mobile is the new fixed”.

“Our 4G network is nationwide and has a huge data capacity. We therefore started looking for new ways in which consumers can use our 4G network,” Lambs added.

T-Mobile Netherlands also recently launched a new over-the-top (OTT) TV service called Knippr.