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    Belgian government allows fourth mobile telecom operator

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Belgian federal government has paved the way for a new mobile telecom operator to enter the Belgian market. Belgium’s four ruling parties have paved the way for the arrival of a fourth mobile telecom provider as part of major budgetary agreement reached today.

    The Belgian mobile telecom market is currently dominated by three players – Proximus, Telenet and Orange Belgium.

    Mobile telecom prices in Belgium are currently significantly higher than in most neighbouring countries. Telecoms minister Alexander De Croo has long said the arrival of a fourth player could increase competition between local providers and in turn result in lower prices.

    A study by the University of Leuven has demonstrated that the arrival of a fourth mobile telecom provider could lower prices by approximately 8,6%.

    According to the Belgian telecommunications regulator BIPT, a foreign operator with a “proven track record in a large market” has expressed interest in entering the local mobile telecom market. Business analysts say the French telecoms company Iliad is most likely to bid on the mobile telephony frequency, which will become available from 2019 onward.

    Linda A. Thompson
    The Brussels Times