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Belgium - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Belgium’s regulatory Strategic Plan to 2019 focussed on fibre broadband
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.
Telenet’s acquisition of BASE in early 2016, and of SFR Belgium in June 2017, has 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.
Belgium’s mobile market is served by the three network operators Proximus, Orange Belgium and BASE (owned by Liberty Global’s local unit Telenet) and by a number of MVNOs. Mobile networks have upgraded with HSPA and LTE technologies while Proximus and Telenet have initiated trials to develop services based on 5G. The market continues to see activity, with two new MVNOs licensed in late 2016 and with Lycamobile acquiring Telenet’s MVNO Ortel Mobile in June 2017. With BASE already the dominant host network for MVNO, the switch of Lycamobile from the Orange Belgium to the BASE network meant that BASE now commands about 90% of all wholesale mobile connections.
There is effective competition in Belgium between the DSL and cable platforms, while in recent years government support has also encouraged investment in fibre networks. Telenet, supported by its parent Liberty Global, has invested in developing services based on the new DOCSIS3.1 standard, which is capable of providing data at 1Gb/s and higher. The incumbent telco Proximus (formerly Belgacom) has also engaged in extensive fibre/VDSL and FttP deployments, with which it has promoted a range of bundled services.
Belgium’s market for bundled services has grown on the back of upgraded cable and DSL infrastructure and by a growing concentration among operators to develop fibre networks. The broadcasting sector is characterised by language variations to accommodate the French and Dutch speaking regions. Analogue broadcasts have been switched off nationally, which enabled digital dividend spectrum to be auctioned for mobile broadband services at the end of 2013.
In recent months there has been renewed impetus in the digital media market, particularly following the acquisition of KNP’s BASE subsidiary by Liberty Global’s Telenet division. This has created a multi-play operator providing viable competition to Proximus for bundled service offerings
This report profiles Belgian’s mobile market, providing the latest statistics on the main players, as well as recent developments on HSPA and LTE rollouts as well as the future deployment of 5G.
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.
This report provides a review of bundled services developments, as well as a comprehensive overview of the country’s digital media market. It provides statistics on the major service providers, and also notes the status of digital, cable and satellite TV.
This report profiles Belgium’s fixed and wireless broadband markets. It provides broadband forecasts for selective years to 2022 and assesses developments in related technologies such as FWA, WLAN and Wi-Fi.

Key developments:

Regulator issues Strategic Plan covering 2017-19;
Lycamobile Belgium switches host network from Orange Belgium to BASE;
Proximus begins 5G trials with Huawei;
Public consultation on the release of 30MHz in the 700MHz band expected by late 2017;
Pre-paid mobile SIM cards registration comes into force;
Broadband Belgium to set up TD-LTE wireless network using 3.5GHz and 10.5GHz spectrum;
Proximus engaged in €3 billion ‘Fibre for Belgium’ investment program to 2027;
Competition authority approves Telenet’s acquisition of SFR Belgium;
Proximus’s VDSL2 network providing extensive population coverage;
Broadband networks on track to reach national 30Mb/s connectivity by 2020;
Altice sells its SFR Belgium unit to Telenet;
Report update includes the regulator’s market data for 2016, regulator’s 2016 annual report, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q1 2017, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Proximus (Belgacom), COLT, Orange Belgium (Mobistar), Scarlet, Tele2, Telenet, Versatel, BASE, Lycamobile Belgium, Interkabel, Liberty Global.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics - 2016
    • Table Telecom revenue and investment statistics - 2016
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2016
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2016 (e)
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2016
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2016
    • Table National telecommunications authority
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Telecom market investment: fixed and mobile by sector - 2006 - 2010; 2014 - 16
      • Table Telecom market investment: network and licenses - 2011 - 2016
      • Table Telecom investment as a proportion of revenue - 2011 - 2016
      • Table Telecom market investment by operator (regulator data) - 2007 - 2013
      • Table Retail and wholesale telecom revenue by sector - 2011 - 2016
      • Table Total telecom revenue by sector - 2011 - 2016
      • Table Fixed voice ARPU - 2008 - 2015
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • HISTORIC OVERVIEW
    • EU REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
    • REVISED NFR
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITY
    • GOVERNMENT POLICIES
    • INTERCONNECT
    • ACCESS
      • Table Unbundled loops and access lines (historic) - 2004 - 2009
    • CABLE NETWORK ACCESS
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
      • Table Fixed numbers ported - 2000 - 2016
    • CARRIER PRESELECTION (CPS)
      • Table Carrier preselect numbers and annual change - 2000 - 2016
    • WHOLESALE LINE RENTAL (WLR)
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • INTRODUCTION
      • Table Proximus share of fixed-line traffic by type - 2006 - 2012
      • Table Fixed-line telephony revenue - 2002 - 2016
      • Table Average price for fixed-line call - 2007 - 2013
      • Table Fixed-line and mobile traffic volume - 2007 - 2016
      • Table Fixed-line traffic by type - 2005 - 2015
    • PROXIMUS
      • Table Proximus (CBU) access channels - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Proximus Group financial data - 2003 - 2017
      • Table Proximus revenue by sector - 2004 - 2017
      • Table Proximus revenue by operating division - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Proximus fixed-line services revenue by sector (CBU) - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Proximus monthly ARPU by sector (CBU) - 2005 - 2017
    • COLT TELECOM
    • ORANGE BELGIUM
      • Table Orange Belgium financial data - 2013 - 2017
      • Table Orange Belgium service revenue by sector - 2007 - 2017
      • Table Orange Belgium mobile services revenue - 2005 - 2017
      • Table Orange Belgium subscribers by sector - 2008 - 2017
    • SCARLET (FORMERLY KPN BELGIUM)
    • TELE2 BELGIUM
    • TELENET
      • Table Telenet revenue by sector - 2004 - 2017
      • Table Telenet subscribers by sector - 2006 - 2017
      • Table Telenet financial data - 2005 - 2017
      • Table Telenet subscriber monthly ARPU - 2005 - 2014
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Table Historical - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2009
      • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2010 - 2018
      • Table Fixed lines by type - 2006 - 2016
    • NEXT GENERATION NETWORK (NGN)
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
    • CLOUD SERVICES
    • SMART METERS
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Historical - Internet users and penetration rate - 1995 - 2009
        • Table Internet users and penetration rate - 2010 - 2018
        • Table Historical - Broadband fixed-line subscribers by technology - 2000 - 2009
        • Table Broadband fixed-line subscribers by technology - 2010 - 2018
        • Table Broadband subscription net additions per year - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Broadband sector revenue - 2014 - 2015
        • Table Residential broadband ARPU - 2013 - 2016
        • Table Fixed-line broadband penetration by service - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of fixed-broadband lines by speed - 2007 - 2016
        • Table Fixed-broadband lines by speed - 2014 - 2016
      • Market share
        • Table Broadband subscribers by operator - 2012 - 2015
        • Table Broadband market share by operator - 2006 - 2015
      • Forecasts - broadband subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • HYBRID FIBRE COAX (HFC) NETWORKS
      • Introduction
        • Table Cable modem subscribers - 2000 - 2018
      • Telenet
        • Table Telenet broadband subscribers - 2006 - 2017
      • Interkabel
      • SFR (Numéricable)
    • DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (DSL) NETWORKS
      • Table DSL subscribers - 2000 - 2018
      • Proximus
        • Table Historical - Proximus DSL subscribers - 2000 - 2009
        • Table Proximus DSL subscribers - 2010 - 2017
      • Versatel/Tele2 Belgium
      • Orange Belgium (Mobistar)
        • Table Orange Belgium Group broadband subscribers - 2008 - 2017
        • Table Orange Belgium broadband and TV subscribers - 2015 - 2017
        • Table Orange Belgium fixed broadband revenue - 2014 - 2017
      • Other DSL developments
        • Table VDSL subscribers - 2013 - 2016
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP) NETWORKS
      • Introduction
      • Government support
      • Digital Metropolis Antwerp
      • Proximus
    • OTHER FIXED BROADBAND SERVICES
      • Broadband Powerline (BPL)
      • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)
      • WLAN/Wi-Fi
      • WiMAX
    • COMPETITION ISSUES
      • Wholesale
        • Table Proximus wholesale broadband lines - 2010 - 2016
      • Naked DSL
  • DIGITAL MEDIA
    • INTRODUCTION
      • Table Analogue and digital TV subscribers - 2010 - 2016
      • Table Proportion of digital TV subscribers by platform - 2010 - 2015
      • Table Bundled services subscribers by type - 2007 - 2016
      • Table Proportion of bundled services subscribers by type - 2007 - 2016
      • Table Proportion of bundled services subscribers with TV by type - 2010 - 2016
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
    • SATELLITE TV
    • CABLE TV
      • Table Historic - Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2009
      • Table Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate - 2010 - 2012; 2015 - 2016
    • DIGITAL TERRESTRIAL TV (DTTV)
      • DTT licence issued
      • Digital switch-over
    • INTERACTIVE TV (IDTV)
    • KEY DIGITAL MEDIA PLAYERS
    • VIDEOSTREAMING
      • Table Bundled services by type - 2007 - 2015
      • Table Proportion of bundled services by type - 2007 - 2015
      • Major players
        • Table Proximus TV households - 2006 - 2016
        • Table Proximus TV customers - 2013 - 2017
        • Table Proximus annualised IPTV ARPU, revenue - 2006 - 2017
        • Table Telenet cable TV subscribers by sector - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Telenet subscriber annualised monthly ARPU - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Telenet triple-play subscribers - 2002 - 2017
        • Table Telenet bundled services penetration - 2012 - 2017
    • COMMUNICATIONS: VOIP, MESSAGING, CONFERENCING
      • VoIP
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • E-HEALTH SERVICES
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Mobile service revenue - 2012 - 2016
    • MOBILE STATISTICS
      • General statistics
        • Table Historical - Active mobile/SIM card subscribers and penetration - 1999 - 2009
        • Table Active mobile/SIM card subscribers and teledensity - 2010 - 2018
        • Table Market share by operator - 2002 - 2016
        • Table Mobile ARPU - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Mobile voice traffic - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Average use of service per subscriber per month - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Mobile prepaid and contract subscribers (MNOs) - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Mobile prepaid and contract subscribers (MNOs and MVNOs) - 2011 - 2016
      • Mobile data
        • Table Data traffic on mile networks - 2012 - 2016
        • Table Proximus mobile data traffic - 2015 - 2017
        • Table Proximus SMS messages (CBU) - 2008 - 2014
        • Table SMS traffic - 2001 - 2016
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Mobile broadband subscribers by technology - 2008 - 2016
        • Table Mobile broadband penetration by technology - 2009 - 2015
      • Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
        • Table Mobile subscribers - 2018; 2020; 2022
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum
        • Table 800MHz auction results - 2013
        • Table 2.6GHz auction results - 2011
        • Table Spectrum assignment overview
      • Roaming
        • Table European roaming charges - 2007 - 2016
        • Table European roaming charges - 2014 - 2017
      • Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
        • Table Mobile termination tariffs - 2006 - 2013; 2015
        • Table Mobile termination revenue (historic) - 2007 - 2012
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Annual mobile numbers ported - 2002 - 2016
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Digital networks
        • Table LTE subscribers - 2012 - 2016
      • Other infrastructure developments
      • Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
        • Table M2M connections - 2011 - 2016
        • Table M2M revenue - 2014 - 2016
        • Table Orange Belgium M2M connections - 2009 - 2017
        • Table Orange Belgium M2M revenue - 2009 - 2012
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • Proximus
        • Table Proximus mobile revenue by sector (CBU) - 2007 - 2017
        • Table Proximus mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Proximus CBU subscribers by type - 2007 - 2017
        • Table Proximus annualised ARPU (CBU) by sector - 2007 - 2017
      • Orange Belgium (Mobistar)
        • Table Orange Belgium subscribers (Belgium) - 2007 - 2017
        • Table Orange Belgium MVNOs subscribers (Belgium) - 2014 - 2017
        • Table Orange Belgium financial data - 2013 - 2017
        • Table Orange Belgium mobile services revenue - 2005 - 2017
        • Table Orange Belgium annualised ARPU - 2005 - 2017
      • BASE
        • Table BASE mobile revenue - 2007 - 2017
        • Table BASE subscribers - 2004 - 2015
        • Table Telenet mobile subscribers - 2006 - 2017
        • Table BASE annualised ARPU - 2005 - 2015
      • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
        • Table MVNO revenue - 2014 - 2016
        • Table MVNO subscribers and market share - 2006 - 2016
        • Table MVNO mobile voice traffic and market share (historic) - 2006 - 2012
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Location-based services
      • Mobile TV

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