2013 Belgium - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Belgium’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Liberty Global increases stake in Telenet; regulator undergoes structural changes to meet strategic vision; Movistar adds VoD to quintuple-play bundle; Belgacom extends TV Everywhere service nationally; courts uphold Open Cable regulation for resale of analogue TV services, access to digital TV and the resale of broadband access; BASE launches ‘Snow’ bundled service brand; Liberty Global bids for remaining stake in Telenet; Numéricable sells Belgian unit; regulators approve cable wholesale offers; Belgacom invests in VDSL2 vectoring technology to provide 50Mb/s services; VOO upgrades broadband offering to 100Mb/s; Telenet and Ziggo begin work on ‘Homespot’ WiFi system; networks on track to reach national 30Mb/s connectivity by 2020; Telenet Tecteo Bidco awarded fourth 20-year 3G licence; Mobistar invests €36 million to replace 2G equipment with LTE kit; regulator sets terms for 2013 800MHz auction; Telenet extends MVNO agreement with Mobistar to 2017; mobile service revenue continues to fall; Proximus trials LTE in the 1.8GHz band; BASE contracts Ericsson for backhaul upgrade, launches DC-HSPA+ service; non-SMS mobile revenue growth outstripping SMS revenue; regulator’s market data update; telcos’ financial and operating data to Q1 2013; market developments to May 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Proximus, Mobistar, BASE, Telenet, Belgacom, UPC Belgium, COLT, Scarlet, Tele2, Versatel, Interkabel.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- May 2013 (12th Edition)

Executive Summary

Belgacom’s VDSL vectoring complementing slow FttH roll out

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Belgium - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors of one of Europe’s smaller yet key markets, having close ties to telcos operating in larger neighbouring countries. The report includes regulator’s market data update, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q1 2013, market developments to May 2013.

Telecom market overview

The total turnover of the Belgian telecom market has risen slowly in recent years largely as a result of a better performing broadcasting sector, which has offset declining revenue from the mobile and fixed-voice sectors. Effective competition between Belgacom and the cablecos has also resulted in cheaper offerings for bundled services. Despite the ongoing economic difficulties and liquidity issues, investment in telecom networks – partly encouraged by government stimulus funds – has grown year-on-year. Alternative operators have invested the largest proportion of the total. Further investment in 2013 and 2014 will be supported by anticipated spectrum auctions, as well as ongoing upgrades to mobile and fixed-line networks as operators seek to maintain satisfy customer demand for bandwidth and new services. Fixed telephony still forms more than half of the total, though its market share is declining steadily.

Broadband market

The government has promoted its SuperFastBelgium scheme based on a national FttH network, though developments remain slow. Open access to Belgacom’s fibre network would be complemented by measures to ensure that all new-build premises would be provisioned with ducts to enable fibre connections, while the right by all operators to install ducts above ground aims to reduce engineering costs by up to 80%. Belgacom has pursued a VDSL vectoring strategy to complement its limited FttH roll out, providing at least 50Mb/s services.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013

Sector

2010

2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers

3.36

4.11

Mobile broadband

1.30

2.15

Mobile phone

12.7

13.38

Fixed-line telephony

4.64

4.45

Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband

31%

47%

Mobile

118%

127%

Fixed-line

38%

36%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • Access to Belgium’s cable networks will enable operators to expand their bundled services, though there remains opposition from cablecos to opening up their networks to third parties.
  • Mobistar has embarked on its ‘SuperMobile 2013-2015’ investment programme, investing an additional €150 million to accelerate the roll-out of its LTE network.
  • In 2012 BASE launched its ‘Snow’ digital TV service, using KPN’s VDSL network. It includes fixed-line, TV and telephony services to complement existing bundled offerings.
  • In early 2013 KPN rebranded all of its Belgium operations under the BASE moniker.
  • Liberty Global in late 2012 made a US$2.5 billion bid to buy additional shares in Telenet: LG increased its stake to about 58% of Telenet shares.
  • Belgacom and its long-term hardware provider Alcatel-Lucent have developed VDSL2 vectoring technology, with commercial expansion planned through 2013.
  • Mobile broadband penetration in Belgium was about 3.5% in early 2009 and 17% by early 2013: this remains low in comparison with the EU average but should increase quickly to 2014 in the wake of anticipated spectrum auctions and operator upgrades to networks.
  • Net retail revenue from mobile data services continues to grow rapidly, offsetting declines from voice services. The share of mobile data to overall mobile revenue is also rising.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Belgium. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
  • Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • ARPU statistics and forecasts.

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key Statistics
  • 2. Telecommunications Market
    • 2.1 Overview of Belgium’s telecom market
  • 3. Regulatory Environment
    • 3.1 History
      • 3.1.1 EU regulatory framework
      • 3.1.2 Revised NFR
    • 3.2 Regulatory authority
      • 3.2.1 Belgian Institute for Posts and Telecommunications (BIPT)
    • 3.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Belgium
      • 3.3.1 Privatisation of Belgacom
      • 3.3.2 Interconnect
      • 3.3.3 Access
      • 3.3.4 Number Portability (NP)
      • 3.3.5 Carrier PreSelection (CPS)
      • 3.3.6 Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
  • 4. Fixed Network Operators
    • 4.1 Overview of operators
    • 4.2 Belgacom
    • 4.3 COLT Telecom NV
    • 4.4 Mobistar
    • 4.5 Scarlet (formerly KPN Belgium)
    • 4.6 Tele2 Belgium
    • 4.7 Telenet
  • 5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
    • 5.1 National telecom network
    • 5.2 Next Generation Network (NGN)
    • 5.3 International infrastructure
    • 5.4 E-Health services
  • 6. Broadband Market
    • 6.1 Overview
      • 6.1.1 Broadband statistics
    • 6.2 Cable modems
      • 6.2.1 Telenet
      • 6.2.2 Interkabel
    • 6.3 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
      • 6.3.1 Belgacom’s DSL services
      • 6.3.2 Versatel/Tele2 Belgium
      • 6.3.3 Mobistar
    • 6.4 Other DSL developments
      • 6.4.1 SDSL
      • 6.4.2 VDSL
      • 6.4.3 G.SHDSL
    • 6.5 Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) networks
      • 6.5.1 Government support
      • 6.5.2 Regulating fibre
      • 6.5.3 Digital Metropolis Antwerp
      • 6.5.4 Belgacom
    • 6.6 Broadband Powerline (BPL)
    • 6.7 Wireless broadband
      • 6.7.1 Fixed Wireless Access (FWA)
      • 6.7.2 WLAN/WiFi
      • 6.7.3 WiMAX
    • 6.8 Mobile broadband
  • 7. Digital Media
    • 7.1 Overview
      • 7.1.1 Key general trends
      • 7.1.2 Business models
      • 7.1.3 Regulatory issues
    • 7.2 Digital TV (DTV)
      • 7.2.1 Broadband TV (IPTV)
      • 7.2.2 VoIP
      • 7.2.3 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
      • 7.2.4 Cable TV
      • 7.2.5 Satellite TV
      • 7.2.6 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
      • 7.2.7 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
      • 7.2.8 Interactive TV (iDTV)
  • 8. Mobile Communications
    • 8.1 Overview of Belgium’s mobile market
      • 8.1.1 Mobile statistics
      • 8.1.2 Operator market shares
    • 8.2 Regulatory issues
      • 8.2.1 Spectrum regulations and spectrum auctions
      • 8.2.2 Roaming
      • 8.2.3 Mobile termination rates (MTRs)
      • 8.2.4 Number portability (NP)
    • 8.3 Mobile technologies
      • 8.3.1 Digital
      • 8.3.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile
    • 8.4 Major mobile operators
      • 8.4.1 Proximus
      • 8.4.2 Mobistar
      • 8.4.3 BASE
      • 8.4.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 8.5 Mobile voice services
      • 8.5.1 Prepaid cards
    • 8.6 Mobile Messaging
      • 8.6.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
      • 8.6.2 SMS over fixed networks
      • 8.6.3 Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
    • 8.7 Mobile data services
      • 8.7.1 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
      • 8.7.2 Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE)
      • 8.7.3 High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA)
      • 8.7.4 High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)
      • 8.7.5 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 8.7.6 Mobile TV
      • 8.7.7 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
    • 8.8 Mobile applications
      • 8.8.1 Location-based services
  • 9. Forecasts
    • 9.1 Forecast – broadband subscribers – 2010-2012; 2020
      • 9.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband subscriber growth
      • 9.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband subscriber growth
    • 9.2 Forecast – UMTS subscribers 2006-2012; 2015
    • 9.3 Forecast – mobile ARPU 2005-2010; 2015
    • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2012 (e)
    • Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2012 (e)
    • Table 3 – Telephone network statistics – 2012 (e)
    • Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2013 (e)
    • Table 5 – Broadband statistics – 2012 (e)
    • Table 6 – Mobile statistics – 2012 (e)
    • Table 7 – National telecommunications authority
    • Table 8 – Telecom market investment: fixed and mobile by sector – 2006 - 2012
    • Table 9 – Telecom market investment (regulator data) – 2007 - 2011
    • Table 10 – Total telecom market revenue by sector – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 11 – Telecom market revenue (not inc. TV) – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 12 – Share of telecom revenue by sector – 2011
    • Table 13 – Unbundled loops and access lines – 2004 - 2009
    • Table 14 – BRUO and BROBA monthly access fees – 2011
    • Table 15 – Fixed numbers ported (historical) – 2000 - 2005
    • Table 16 – Carrier preselect numbers and annual change – 2000 - 2010
    • Table 17 – Fixed-line telephony revenue – 2002 - 2013
    • Table 18 – Fixed-line traffic by type – 2005 - 2012
    • Table 19 – Belgacom (CBU) access channels – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 20 – Belgacom residential traffic – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 21 – Belgacom Group financial data – 2003 - 2013
    • Table 22 – Belgacom revenue by sector – 2004 - 2013
    • Table 23 – Belgacom revenue by operating division – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 24 – Belgacom fixed-line services revenue by sector (CBU) – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 25 – Belgacom monthly ARPU by sector (CBU) – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 26 – Mobistar financial data by sector – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 27 – Mobistar subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2012
    • Table 28 – Telenet revenue by sector – 2004 - 2013
    • Table 29 – Telenet subscribers by sector – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 30 – Telenet financial data – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 31 – Telenet subscriber monthly ARPU – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 32 – Historical – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2004
    • Table 33 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 34 – Fixed lines by type – 2006 - 2012
    • Table 35 – Altnet fixed lines – 2000 - 2013
    • Table 36 – Historical - Internet users and penetration rate – 1995 - 2004
    • Table 37 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 38 – Historical – Broadband fixed-line subscribers by technology – 2000 - 2004
    • Table 39 – Broadband fixed-line subscribers by technology – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 40 – Broadband penetration – 2000 - 2013
    • Table 41 – Broadband market share by operator – 2006 - 2012
    • Table 42 – Cable modem subscribers – 2000 - 2014
    • Table 43 – Telenet broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 44 – Telenet financial data – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 45 – ADSL subscribers – 2000 - 2014
    • Table 46 – Historical – Belgacom ADSL subscribers – 2000 - 2004
    • Table 47 – Belgacom ADSL subscribers – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 48 – Mobistar broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2013
    • Table 49 – WLL broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2014
    • Table 50 – Mobile broadband subscribers by technology – 2008 - 2013
    • Table 51 – Bundled services by type – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 52 – Telenet triple-play subscribers – 2002 - 2013
    • Table 53 – Belgacom TV households – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 54 – Belgacom annualised IPTV ARPU, revenue – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 55 – VoIP connections – 2006 - 2012
    • Table 56 – Cable TV subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 – 2011; 2015
    • Table 57 – Telenet cable TV subscribers by sector – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 58 – Telenet subscriber annualised monthly ARPU – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 59 – Historical - Satellite TV subscribers – 1995 - 2004
    • Table 60 – Satellite TV subscribers – 2005 – 2011; 2015
    • Table 61 – Mobile service revenue – 2004 - 2013
    • Table 62 – Mobile revenue by type – 2001 - 2012
    • Table 63 – Historical – Mobile/SIM card subscribers and teledensity – 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2004
    • Table 64 – Mobile/SIM card subscribers and teledensity – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 65 – Active mobile/SIM card subscribers and teledensity – 2006 - 2012
    • Table 66 – Mobile traffic – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 67 – Market share by operator – 2002 - 2012
    • Table 68 – 2.6GHz auction results – 2011
    • Table 69 – European roaming charges – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 70 – Roaming revenue – 2001 - 2012
    • Table 71 – Mobile termination tariffs – 2006 - 2008
    • Table 72 – Proposed mobile termination tariffs – 2009 - 2013
    • Table 73 – Mobile termination revenue – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 74 – Annual mobile numbers ported (historic) – 2002 - 2005; 2008
    • Table 75 – Proximus revenue by sector (CBU) – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 76 – Proximus total subscribers – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 77 – Proximus CBU subscribers by type – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 78 – Proximus annualised ARPU (CBU) by sector – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 79 – Mobistar subscribers – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 80 – Mobistar data ARPU as proportion total mobile ARPU – 2007 - 2012
    • Table 81 – Mobistar mobile revenue – 2005 - 2012
    • Table 82 – Mobistar annualised ARPU – 2005 - 2012
    • Table 83 – BASE mobile revenue – 2007 - 2013
    • Table 84 – BASE subscribers – 2004 - 2013
    • Table 85 – BASE annualised ARPU – 2005 - 2013
    • Table 86 – Telenet mobile subscribers – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 87 – MVNO subscribers and market share – 2006 - 2012
    • Table 88 – MVNO mobile traffic and market share – 2006 - 2013
    • Table 89 – Mobile voice service revenue – 2001 - 2013
    • Table 90 – Proportion of prepaid subscribers by operator – 2004 - 2010
    • Table 91 – Prepaid and contract subscribers – 2001 - 2012
    • Table 92 – Proximus SMS messages (CBU) – 2008 - 2013
    • Table 93 – SMS traffic – 2001 - 2013
    • Table 94 – Mobistar M2M connections – 2009 - 2012
    • Table 95 – Mobistar M2M revenue – 2009 - 2012
    • Table 96 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2010 - 2012; 2020
    • Table 97 – Forecast broadband penetration – higher market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
    • Table 98 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2010 - 2012; 2020
    • Table 99 – Forecast broadband penetration – lower market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
    • Table 100 – Forecast UMTS subscribers – 2006 - 2012; 2015
    • Table 101 – Forecast mobile ARPU – 2005 - 2010; 2015
    • Chart 1 – Telecom market revenue by sector – 2006 - 2013
    • Chart 2 – Fixed-line traffic by type – 2005 – 2012
    • Chart 3 – Belgacom residential traffic – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 4 – Belgacom Group financial data – 2003 - 2013
    • Chart 5 – Belgacom revenue by sector – 2004 - 2013
    • Chart 6 – Belgacom revenue by operating division – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 7 – Belgacom fixed-line services revenue by sector (CBU) – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 8 – Mobistar financial data – 2007 - 2012
    • Chart 9 – Mobistar subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2013
    • Chart 10 – Telenet revenue by sector – 2004 - 2013
    • Chart 11 – Telenet subscribers by sector – 2006 - 201
    • Chart 12 – Telenet financial data – 2005 - 2013
    • Chart 13 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 - 2013
    • Chart 14 – Fixed lines by type – 2006 – 2012
    • Chart 15 – Internet users and penetration rate – 2005 - 2013
    • Chart 16 – Broadband subscribers by technology – 2005 - 2012
    • Chart 17 – Telenet financial data – 2005 - 2013
    • Chart 18 – Mobile broadband subscribers by technology – 2008 - 2013
    • Chart 19 – Bundled services by type – 2007 – 2012
    • Chart 20 – Belgacom annualised ARPU, revenue – 2006 – 2013
    • Chart 21 – Cable TV subscriber statistics and penetration rate – 2000 - 2011; 2015
    • Chart 22 – Telenet cable TV subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 23 – Mobile service revenue – 2004 – 2013
    • Chart 24 – Mobile revenue by type – 2001 – 2012
    • Chart 25 – Mobile/SIM card subscribers and teledensity –2005 - 2013
    • Chart 26 – Market share by operator – 2002 - 2012
    • Chart 27 – Proximus revenue by sector (CBU) – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 28 – Proximus CBU subscribers by type – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 29 – Proximus annualised ARPU (CBU) by sector – 2007 - 2013
    • Chart 30 – BASE annualised ARPU – 2005 - 2013
    • Chart 31 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
    • Chart 32 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2007 - 2012; 2020
    • Exhibit 1 – EU – The New Regulatory Framework (NRF)
    • Exhibit 2 – Access and the local loop
    • Exhibit 3 – Number portability defined
    • Exhibit 4 – Key ADSL service providers – 2013
    • Exhibit 5 – WiMAX spectrum licenses – 2001 - 2005
    • Exhibit 6 – Overview of digital media

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