Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 06/06/2014 -- BMI View: The Belgian telecommunications market remains challenging for established and new players alike, partly due to the saturated market conditions but mostly due to the slow-moving nature of regulatory changes that have impeded the wireline broadband market. Increased price competition driven by termination and interconnection rate cuts as well as alterations to number portability rules are constraining revenue and profit growth at a time when operators need to invest heavily in infrastructure. It therefore came as little surprise when, in late 2013, Telenet-Tecteo BidCo said it was handing back its 2G/3G licence and spectrum in order to concentrate on more profitable MVNO partnerships. New 4G licensee BUCD remains silent regarding its investment and WiMAX operator b-lite appears to have only modest plans to transition to LTE. The regulator is also considering further termination rate cuts for the 2014-18 period. Despite this gloomy outlook, the regulator has finally opened the cable infrastructure market to third parties and Mobistar - which closed its wireline business in 2013 in protest at the uncompetitive regulatory regime - plans to return with an ambitious converged service offering by the end of 2014.
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- Stronger than expected mobile subscription growth was recorded in Q413, with 95,000 net additions reported by the three operators. This resulted in a total user base to 12.638mn.
- ARPU rates also declined, with the medium-term trend of declines exacerbated by the cut to mobile termination rates in January 2013, resulting in steeper declines.
- M2M usage continues to grow rapidly, based on data provided by Mobistar, which showed 34.3% y-o-y subscription growth to the end of 2013.
Key Trends And Developments
The regulator permitted Belgacom to begin commercially deploying vectoring technology on its xDSL network in Q114. Combined with its aggressive VDSL upgrade, Belgacom is moving quickly in developing an advanced...
The Belgium Telecommunications Report features Business Monitor International (BMI)'s independent industry forecasts on the future strength of Belgium's ICT market, covering the fixed-line, mobile and internet segments and analyses latest regulatory developments and corporate news, including investment activity, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships. Leading operators and manufacturers are fully profiled, highlighting their quarterly financial performance, capital expenditure plans and latest contracts.
BMI's Belgium Telecommunications Report provides industry professionals and researchers, operators, equipment suppliers and vendors, corporate and financial services analysts and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the telecoms industry in Belgium.
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