Preview on 2023: Security, sleep mode & super fast internet
We ended 2022 with record amounts of data traffic over our fiber and 5G network. And 2023 is already underway. What else is on the agenda in 2023 and what trends do we foresee for both consumers and businesses? Here are nine of the most significant developments.
1. Security again has highest priority
In 2023, security will once again be our number one priority. For the simple reason that everything depends on a secure Internet and protection of your data and personal information. We also see security awareness increasing among business owners. More than half of our business customers have activated extra secure Internet, which gives them even better protection from external threats. Unfortunately, the threat of cybercrime remains as high as ever. Last year, yet again, numerous Dutch organizations fell victim to cybercrime. The Dutch government made a step forward by introducing the Dutch cybersecurity strategy 2022-2028, which aims to ensure the digital security of citizens and businesses. Here are the principal security trends for 2023 in the view of the specialists of KPN Security.
2. Fiber with 1 Gbps up and down conquers the Dutch market
We are increasingly working from home, simultaneously streaming plenty of videos while the kids are gaming. All this requires a lot of speed, up and down at the same time, and the best infrastructure. Good news: things are moving fast with the installation of fiber access throughout the Netherlands. In 2023, the various fiber providers will cross paths more frequently and about two-thirds of the Netherlands will have access to superfast Internet via the best fixed network technology. Fiber is better, faster, more stable and more durable. And partly because of the improved conditions for access to KPN's open network, high speeds on fiber are becoming increasingly popular. In the future it will be even faster: how about 20 Gigabits per second? All those fast fiber connections give a boost to the digitalization of the Netherlands. For example, Dutch companies are increasingly using digital technologies. And because our Internet is excellent, we are again one of the three highest-quality digital economies in Europe. The importance of fast Internet is also embraced by the government, with the ambition that everyone in the Netherlands will be connected to fast broadband Internet of 1 Gigabit per second by 2030.
3. Will we finally get a really high speed on our cell phone?
Together, the power of fiber at home and superfast 5G on the go always give the best speeds. Wherever you are, with any application. In 2023, we will in any event get one step closer to fiber speeds on our cell phones. The KPN mobile network is already the fastest 5G network in the Netherlands. However, an even faster 5G, for which the 3.5 GHz frequency band is needed, has been a long time coming. And it is finally due to happen after the summer of 2023: the auction of the fastest 5G spectrum to date. The availability of this frequency band will bring even more capacity and faster speeds to Dutch 5G networks. And we really need them, because data consumption continues to grow substantially. The promise of 5G is increasingly being realized, given that 5G also forms the basis for the further advance of mobile and cloud gaming. We are going to hear more about that in 2023 too.
4. Breakthrough of data-driven collaboration
In KPN’s view, data-driven collaboration will continue to make advances in 2023. It is already happening on a small scale; the secure and reliable exchange of data actually offers many opportunities. In the KPN Health Exchange for example, healthcare data from lots of individual systems of different healthcare organizations are shared securely between healthcare institutions and patients for a better patient and care experience at lower cost. A telecom provider such as KPN is ideally placed to exchange this data securely and reliably over telecom networks. For example, in early 2023, KPN Health acquired integration specialist Itzos, taking the next step in further unlocking and connecting data from healthcare information systems. In 2023, we are going to see data sharing in other areas and sectors too. The energy sector, for example. An energy supplier can thus gain real-time insight into the energy supplied by solar panels and the consumption of that energy, so as to give the grid operators an accurate forecast. This will allow more alternative energy sources to be connected to the electricity grid without overloading it.
5. Adoption of cloud services continues to grow
Cloud service adoption is skyrocketing. It enables businesses to respond quickly and adaptably to developments in the market as well as within their own company. Extensive homeworking during the lockdowns and the success of hybrid working, which has become the new norm, have further reinforced this. And initial concerns about privacy and security have made way for secure managed cloud services that actually make companies more resilient. The demand for a sovereign cloud is increasing as well. After all, more and more organizations want full authority and control over data and proprietary applications. And the ability to control where (in which country or continent) their information is stored and who can access the data. Prompted in part by geopolitical tensions, which increased in 2022, and tighter legislation, we expect an increase in demand for a data infrastructure exclusive to the Netherlands and a guarantee that all data remains within the Netherlands.
6. Rising energy costs; more frequent use of ‘sleep mode’
In times of high inflation and sharply rising energy prices, saving energy is more important than ever. Not only by consumers at home, but also in terms of large-scale equipment owned by the telecom operators themselves. For example, KPN's mobile network has a dynamic energy-saving mode. Few people use the mobile network at night, so some of the frequencies of our antenna masts go into sleep mode. That enables us to save energy because telecom companies are bulk consumers. When data demand increases, the network automatically switches on again. This energy-saving mode also allows consumers to make additional savings at home. For example, KPN's current TV receiver is already very energy-efficient and also has an eco mode which is being activated more and more often. We are also looking at other ways to save energy and generate renewable energy.
7. Rise in different ways of watching TV
We are increasingly enjoying TV, video and streaming via smartphone and tablet, anywhere, anytime. Thanks to the best mobile network in the Netherlands this is possible everywhere. More and more Dutch consumers are also combining various streaming services with their Internet and TV subscriptions. For example, last year we focused on stacking streaming services. The results were visible on KPN's network, with a steady increase in streaming traffic, and live streaming of sporting events in particular regularly set one-day records. All those streaming services are competing for viewers. The combination of linear TV and streaming is a powerful one. In short, will we watch NPO, RTL or SBS this evening or will it be Netflix, Disney+, Videoland, Amazon Prime, Viaplay, ESPN or HBO Max? TV viewers will look more critically at their TV offerings next year, prompted in part by high inflation. KPN therefore anticipates that this market will continue to change in 2023 and is responding accordingly with its entertainment offerings.
8. Internet of Things continues to grow exponentially
We are connecting more and more devices to the Internet. We predict that it will grow even faster in 2023, partly because the e-sim has increasingly broad support and connecting devices to the Netherlands' best-tested mobile network has become a piece of cake. IoT is growing rapidly in the business market as well. With the right applications, organizations can optimize business processes, improve the customer experience, operate more sustainably and develop new business models. Last year, KPN introduced a new service which will bring commercial drone flights one step closer. And we are going to hear more about that in 2023, as well as other new features such as even more accurate location tracking. There are also developments in robotics and the energy market, where IoT and data applications can help solve workforce shortages and energy transition challenges.
9. Digitalization continues, including in healthcare
Digitalization will continue in 2023, providing Dutch entrepreneurs with increasingly efficient processes and better-informed decision-making. Telecom networks and services are an important driver of further digitalization. AI and machine learning are becoming more commonplace. They also require the best connectivity, such as fiber optics and 5G, to take advantage of the opportunities digitalization offers. If there is one sector that has shown in recent years what can be gained from this, it is healthcare. In terms of sustainability and patient-friendliness, for example. Digitalization allows institutions to bring healthcare closer to clients and patients. Even at home. And that is not only better for them, but also good for the environment. Now that COVID-19 seems to be receding, we expect healthcare institutions to further the process of digitalization. Consultations and routine checks can often be done just as well digitally. This is beneficial for patients, as well as for informal caregivers, for whom the trips to and from the institution can be quite a burden. It also helps make care more efficient.
In summary, we will see plenty of investment and development in 2023. We at KPN will once again go all out to connect the Netherlands to a sustainable future.