2009 Belgium - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media

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Last updated: 5 Aug 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 80

Publication Overview

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Belgium - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Belgium.


Researcher:- Henry Lancaster

Current publication date:- August 2009 (8th Edition)

Next publication date:- August 2010

Executive Summary

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Belgium - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Belgium.


Belgium’s medium-sized telecom market has seen slower growth since 2007. The fixed-line telephony sector continues to contract while investments in the mobile sector have fallen as the major network builds near completion and MNOs focus on technology upgrades. The country’s population is split between two language groups, Flemish and Walloon, which affects regulatory policies. Its geographic position has also affected digital TV market development, given the influence of the neighbouring French and Dutch markets.


Belgium has not kept up with the top European performers for broadband penetration, partly due to high retail prices for Internet access. Nevertheless, strong consumer demand for triple play and converged services has stimulated operators to continue investing in network upgrades. In Flanders, the broadband market is shared between Belgacom and Telenet, while in Wallonia and Brussels the once fragmented competition has gradually consolidated.


Belgium – Key telecom parameters – 2004; 2008

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Fixed-line services:

·         Total subscribers (million)



·         Annual change



·         Fixed-line penetration (population)




·         Subscribers (million)



·         Annual change



·         Broadband penetration (population)



Mobile services:

·         Total subscribers (million)



·         Annual change



·         Mobile penetration (population)



(Source: BuddeComm)


Key highlights:

·         In early 2009 about 27% of broadband subscribers had data speeds of 10Mb/s or higher – one of the highest proportions in the EU. Some 61% of subscribers had data rates of between 2Mb/s and 10Mb/s.

·         IPTV penetration is considerably higher than most other EU countries. Belgacom is one of the three largest IPTV operators in Europe, with its success partly due to its high spending on broadcast rights for football competitions.

·         Belgium’s market for bundled services remains relatively immature, with only about 5% of the population subscribed to double play services and less than 1% to triple play services. There are only three operators providing triple play, and about 14 providing double play. Given the competition between the main players Telenet, Tele 2, Scarlet and Mobistar there remains much potential growth for converged services, with a consequent price squeeze benefiting consumers.

·         Growth in mobile services revenue has been affected by price reductions resulting from increased competition, as well as several regulatory measures. As a result, about a third of Belgians have dispensed with fixed lines in favour of mobile-only solutions. The widespread availability of HSPA has encouraged consumer take-up of mobile broadband and data services.


Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.


The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:

·         This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.

·         The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.

·         All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.

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