The world around us

From global, regional and national developments to industry, corporate and consumer trends, the world around us continued to change and challenge in 2023. For VodafoneZiggo, every challenge brings opportunities. We continued to scan our business environment and gather customer feedback to enable us to monitor and adapt to the shifting landscape. Several external factors – spanning sustainability, digitalisation and socio-economics – had a notable impact on our organisation.

From profit to purpose

With a looming environmental crisis and rising social inequality, our world is facing urgent challenges for its inhabitants. Over recent years, there has been a notable shift from a profit-driven economy to a more purpose- driven economy. This is especially clear in Europe, where an increase in legislation, including Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), is matched by growing public pressure. Market research shows that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors play an increasing role in consumer purchasing decisions and corporate tender processes. At VodafoneZiggo, we recognise that acting responsibly in everything from accessibility to sustainable mobility is what gives us our license to operate, from a purpose, compliance, commercial and reputational perspective.

See: Supporting people and planet (new window)

AI boosts digitalisation

Today, there are few areas of life that are not being radically reshaped by digitalisation. We – and our customers – expect to be able to carry out all kinds of daily activities using digital means, whether we are at home, at work or on the go. The digital transition continued to ramp up in 2023, with generative artificial intelligence (AI) hitting the headlines early in the year. For VodafoneZiggo, the challenge is to stay ahead of the expectations and needs of our customers and employees by providing high-tech, seamless digital systems and services at every stage of their journey with us.

See: Exceptional customer experience (new window)

Privacy and security

In 2023, the rise of digitalisation brings increasing concerns around (cyber) security, privacy and the use of data, exemplified by the overall growing threat of cyberattacks. Meanwhile, natural disasters – including several major earthquakes – confirmed the importance of connecting people at times when communication between families, friends and authorities is critical. All this means VodafoneZiggo has an even greater role to play in protecting our customers, our business partners and their customers and wider society – helping everyone safely participate in the digital world and providing reliable connections when it matters.

See: Data security and privacy for customers and employees (new window)

Changes in purchasing behaviour

In 2023, the global economic situation continued to affect people in the Netherlands. High inflation and energy costs put financial pressure on households, including many in our customer base. VodafoneZiggo has a responsibility to protect our customers from financial risk by, for example, carrying out credit checks. At the same time, with our own operational costs also rising, we need to keep reviewing the value of our products and services and how we translate this into pricing, carefully balancing the needs of our customers with those of our business.

See: Our 2023 results (new window)

The digital divide

The economic polarisation of our society is reflected in another significant divide: the digital gap (new window) between those with the access and skills needed to participate fully in the online world and those without. While government-level discussions about digital skills in the primary school curriculum continued in 2023, no decision has yet been taken. As a leading telecom company committed to helping people progress in society, VodafoneZiggo continues its efforts to narrow the digital divide by enabling access, ensuring that their products and services are accessible, and empowering people with digital skills.

See: Leave no one behind (new window)

Homes and workers

The population in the Netherlands grew by 140,000 in 2023. At the same time, the housing shortage intensified, nearing 400,000 by the end of the year. These related trends have a mixed impact on VodafoneZiggo: on the one hand, more people represent more potential mobile network customers; on the other, if not enough new homes are built, the autonomous growth of the fixed-network market is limited.
A further socio-demographic factor that affected our organisation in 2023 was the low unemployment rate. The tight labour market made it unusually challenging for us to hire the talented people we rely on, especially in more data-related roles.

See: Employer of choice (new window)

Trends and behaviours

While people may watch less live television than they used to, video content consumption is higher than ever. From on-demand streaming – via today’s proliferation of over-the-top (OTT) services – to social media content and even to 2023’s cinema box-office hits, consumers continued to gravitate towards the entertainment they love and the channels that suit them. Changing consumer behaviour has a clear impact on VodafoneZiggo’s portfolio and on how we, as a facilitator and aggregator, connect people seamlessly with high-quality content. Another important trend is the rise of the IoT. Smart home devices are no longer reserved for early adopters: in 2023, Dutch households were equipped with an average of 5.5 connected devices, ranging from doorbells to dishwashers. This increases the demand on our network, making our ability to supply sufficient capacity and reliability fundamental to our customers’ daily lives and to the success of our business.

See: Reliable and future proof networks (new window)

Changing competitor dynamics

The year saw the evolution of our competitor landscape thanks to the consolidation of several telecom brands in the Dutch market. Meanwhile, our fixed-network competitors continued to roll out fibre optic cables, racing to provide – and advertise – higher internet speeds to customers. This is a challenge for us at VodafoneZiggo, even though our own coaxial-fibre cable network is more than capable of fulfilling our customers’ needs. It means we must keep offering much more than just speed, by using our reliable, high-quality network to enable outstanding entertainment and business solutions, an exceptional customer experience and enjoyment and progress with every connection.

See: Reliable and future proof networks (new window)

Regulatory developments

The competitive nature of our market was underscored by a decision made by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM) in December 2023. We welcome the ACM’s finding that there is sufficient competition and therefore no need to regulate access to VodafoneZiggo’s network by other parties, which means we can continue to support our customers and grow our business as planned.
We also saw an increasing regulatory focus in 2023 on network security and integrity: the Dutch government started the transposition of the updated Network and Information Security (NIS2) directive, while the EU continued discussions on its proposed Cyber Resilience Act. More stringent legislation will raise the bar for our compliance efforts and guide our future security activities.

See: Data security and privacy for customers and employees (new window)

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