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Belgium’s telecom market has long benefited from comprehensive DSL and cable networks, complemented by limited but increasingly prevalent fibre deployments. Though relatively small, the market has attracted investment from some of the region’s major players, including Liberty Global and Orange Group. There have been significant developments in the competitive landscape in recent years, fostered by regulatory measures which require cablecos to allow competitors access to their networks. This has enabled Orange Belgium to become a viable force in the market for bundled services offerings, hitherto dominated by Proximus. Nevertheless, Orange Belgium has seen its influence in the mobile market wane in recent years, principally through having lost two key MVNOs which are now hosted on the network of its main rival BASE, owned by Telenet since 2016.
Telenet’s acquisition of BASE and of SFR Belgium in June 2017 made the telco the second largest in the country, a position bolstered by a strong presence in the TV and broadband sectors.
Broadband penetration has made considerable progress in recent years, largely thanks to regulatory measures to promote wholesale and bitstream access. In the mobile sector LTE availability is nearly universal, while there are ongoing investments in developing applications and services for 5G, with commercial services expected in 2020 soon after the auction of 3.5GHz spectrum.
This report provides data and analysis on key aspects of the Belgian telecom market. It assesses the latest statistics on fixed-network services and also reviews key regulatory issues, noting the status of interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability and carrier preselection. The telecom infrastructure and major fixed-network operators are also profiled.
Proximus (Belgacom), COLT, Orange Belgium (Mobistar), Scarlet, Tele2, Telenet, Versatel.
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