Belgium (country regulation overview)

Date: September 23, 2010
Pages: 21
US$ 895.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: B5B13C0397FEN

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Belgium (country regulation overview)
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The Belgian telecoms market has seen significant activity on the wholesale services front in the past year. The regulator, Institut Belge des Services Postaux et des Telecommunications (BIPT), has finalized several decisions which had been pending since 2008, including the analysis of local-loop unbundling (LLU) and bitstream access markets.

Although the fixed broadband penetration rate in Belgium was 29.1% at the end of 2009, which is higher than the EU average of 24.8%, subscriber growth slowed by 1.7 percentage points. To stimulate growth in broadband adoption and encourage competition in the market, the BIPT has imposed a price cut on LLU and wholesale broadband tariffs. In addition, the BIPT has revised existing LLU regulations to expand the spectrum used for VDSL2 LLU services from 12MHz to 17MHz. The regulator has also implemented new wholesale broadband access regulations to introduce VDSL2 services. These regulations are expected to encourage the introduction of innovative broadband services with higher speeds, and improve the penetration of broadband in the country.

In June 2010, the BIPT cut the MTRs of operators with significant market power (SMP) to bring Belgium’s relatively high mobile termination rates (MTRs) in line with the EU average of €0.067. It also released a timeline to further reduce MTRs by 76–81% over two years, and achieve parity between the major operators by 2013. These initiatives are likely to result in lower retail tariffs, which will benefit end users.
Ovum view
Market overview
Fixed market overview
Fixed broadband market
Mobile market overview
National regulatory authority
Competition authority
Key legislation and regulation
Current status of market analysis
Mobile licensing
3G licenses
Wireless local loop (WLL)
4G spectrum
Retail regulation
The retail market
Wholesale fixed regulation
Services subject to regulation
Number portability
Narrowband voice interconnection
Cost model for reference interconnection offer
Procedure for setting and reviewing charges
Format of charges
Narrowband flat-rate interconnection
Flat-rate Internet access call origination (FRIACO)
Wholesale access
Wholesale line rental (WLR)
Local loop unbundling (LLU)
Wholesale broadband services
Fiber deployment
Wholesale mobile regulation
Services subject to regulation
Mobile-to-fixed termination charges
Mobile termination charges
Mobile number portability
Competition cases
Competition cases
Universal service
Universal service obligation (USO)
Market definitions


Table 1: Belgium mobile market information
Table 2: Frequencies in the 900MHz band
Table 3: Fixed sector: services subject to regulation
Table 4: Mobile sector: services subject to regulation
Table 5: MTRs for SMP operators (€ cents per minute)
Table 6: The EC’s definition of relevant markets and SMP designation


Figure 1: Fixed-line subscribers in Belgium: 2004–08
Figure 2: Fixed broadband subscribers in Belgium: 2005–09
Figure 3: Mobile subscribers in Belgium: 2005–09
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