Surfing the internet is more expensive in Belgium than in many other European countries, a study by Belgian consumer protection association Test Achats, which analysed the Internet-only and combination subscriptions in eight countries, found.
The analysis found that Internet-only subscriptions are up to 30% more expensive in Belgium as opposed to other countries and that Belgian providers are less likely to offer promotions on Internet-only subscriptions, whilst those in neighbouring countries give up to 50% discount for this for periods of 6 to 12 months.
“It’s a pity, because this is exactly the segment that will grow even more in the coming years, thanks to increased homeworking and popular streaming services,” Test Achats said in a press release.
In Belgium, an Internet-only subscription costs between €30 to €40 for a download speed of up to 100 Mbps. In Portugal, where the cheapest subscriptions were found, this can be up to 87% less expensive than in Belgium.
Calling and watching television is also more expensive in Belgium.
For 3Play bundles, which includes a fixed telephone line, internet and television, the average cost in Belgium is around €73, which is “considerably more expensive than in neighbouring countries, the UK (where they are usually around €45 to €50) and a number of southern European countries such as Spain and Italy,” according to Test Achats.
In France, for example, these packages can be up to 59% cheaper.
The association said this could be explained by looking at competition – in Belgium, there are just five providers, fewer than in other countries – and that they offer better discounts.
It added that the arrival of Dutch operator Youfone on the Belgian market may bring some relief, as this will result in more competition.
When it comes to bundles which also include a mobile phone subscription, the average monthly price in Belgium is €98 (for 2 SIM cards) and €127 (including 4 SIM cards).
Although this is more expensive than in most European countries, these packages can be a few euros more expensive in the Netherlands and Germany, but they are slightly less popular in these countries.
“In this market, a fourth player that would also serve cable from a mobile presence seems necessary to us in view of lower prices for consumers,” said Simon November, spokesperson of Test Achats.
It is advised to compare the prices between providers and bundles before signing up for a new subscription.
The Brussels Times