Mobistar unveils investment programme to speed up LTE network rollout

6 Feb 2013

Alongside revealing its financial results for the 2012, Belgium’s Mobistar has outlined a new investment programme, ‘SuperMobile 2013-2015’, under which it has set aside additional investment of EUR150 million (USD203 million) with a view to speeding up the rollout of its 4G network. As part of these plans, the operator has confirmed that it aims to ‘more rapidly convert its 2G/3G network in order to meet the current needs of its customers’, and it has set out its stall to deploy a LTE network covering 80% of the population by 2015.

In terms of its financial performance in 2012, Mobistar generated a total consolidated turnover amounting of EUR1.65 billion in the full-year period, down marginally from the EUR1.66 billion it recorded in the previous financial year. The company closed 2012 with EBITDA of EUR494.1 million, representing a 6.8% year-on-year decline. This drop was attributed predominantly to the mandated reduction in mobile termination rates (MTRs) and roaming rates, as well as the introduction of subsidised handsets at the end of November 2012. Net profit also fell, tumbling by 16% compared to FY11 to EUR185.7 million in 2012, with a number of factors said to have impacted the operator’s bottom line, including the lower EBITDA and ‘the accelerated depreciations of the network following its modernisation’.

Looking ahead, and based on Mobistar’s business strategy for 2013-2015, the company has forecast that in 2013 it will see: a fall in total turnover of between 4% and 6%; EBITDA of between EUR380 million and EUR420 million; and an operating cash flow between EUR175 and EUR215 million.

Operationally, at the end of 2012 Mobistar’s mobile voice accesses numbered 4.321 million, up from 4.105 million at end-December 2011. ADSL subscriber numbers declined, however, from 79,497 to 71,985, while IPTV customers dropped from 34,194 to 27,846. Fixed voice lines at end-2012 totalled 233,342, up from 226,160.

Belgium, Orange Belgium