At the beginning of this week mobile operator Orange Belgium (formerly Mobistar) approached, in a letter, Nethys, the Liège group that controls the telecom player VOO. This information was communicated by the newspaper, L’Echo. In this letter Orange Belgium sounds out the Liège company concerning their potential interest in bringing Orange’s mobile offering and VOO’s TV offering closer together. The combination of these activities would create a “Walloon Telenet”. At this stage, Orange says it is only a “declaration of interest”.
Orange believes that such a partnership would lead to the creation of a convergent national telecom operator with strong roots in Wallonia and the Brussels region, and to the launch of a major multi-year investment plan for high-speed fixed and mobile networks in the Walloon and Brussels regions. They also indicate it would create healthy competition between the three convergent players on the Belgian market, to the benefit of consumers.
The timing of the letter is surprising, because recently there was another important deal between Nethys and Telenet. In that agreement VOO offers its mobile service from next year via Telenet’s network. This agreement fuelled speculation about a rapprochement between Telenet and VOO.
The Brussels Times