Mobistar halts sale of fixed line services to residential users

16 May 2013

Belgium’s Mobistar has reportedly stopped selling fixed line services to new residential subscribers from 22 May, with the telco having said it will not make such products available again until its rivals are forced to open access to their networks. Further, the operator has confirmed that its ‘Mobistar TV’ service will be discontinued from 15 September. In confirming the developments on its website, the operator noted: ‘Despite substantial investments in recent years, Mobistar has been compelled to recognise that the Belgian residential fixed market suffers from a lack of competition and that it is therefore no longer possible to profitably offer fixed services to residential customers.’ Pointing specifically to what it called a ‘closed market, dominated by a historical operator-cable operators duopoly’, it is understood that Mobistar’s decision to stop selling fixed services comes in response to the slow pace of implementing regulations designed to force cablecos to offer access to their networks. Despite recognising that some headway had been made with regards to regulating access, the telco called on the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) to push forward with promised reforms, saying that specifically the watchdog needed to ‘impose simple processes on the cable operators, as well as wholesale rates that are sufficiently attractive to at last permit the alternative operators to launch innovative and competitive convergent fixed offers on the Belgian market’.

Belgium, Orange Belgium