Belgian operators lose automatic GSM licence renewal

8 Dec 2008

According to Reuters Belgian telcos Belgacom and Mobistar have been told by the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) that their GSM licences will not be extended beyond 2010 automatically. The telcos were informed of the regulator’s decision last week, and both operators are understood to be considering legal challenges to the ruling. Belgacom’s GSM licence is due to expire in April 2010, and the operator had previously believed it would be extended for a further five years as long as no objections were raised by April 2008. Belgacom claims that no notification had been received before that date and assumed its licence would therefore be valid until 2015. Mobistar, whose licence is set to expire in November 2008, had also expected an automatic three-year renewal period. The BIPT’s decision is rumoured to have been prompted by a desire to increase the licence price.