New Fixed Networks market report from Business Monitor International: "Belgium Telecommunications Report Q2 2013"
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/18/2013 -- BMI View: Mobile data will remain the primary driver of wireless revenue growth in Belgium, helped by rising sales of smartphones and similar internet-enabled devices. Consumers are also favouring converged service bundles, or packs, and industry expansion and consolidation will revolve around companies that best leverage their strengths in the multi-play arena. The new Telecoms Law, which took effect in August 2012, may undermine operators' efforts, however, as it gives consumers greater powers to change service providers. In 2013, a new 3G player should enter the market, adding a new competitive dynamic, but one that is unlikely to alter existing market expansion trends.
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- Mobile growth was soft in Q312 as BASE shed nearly 1mn inactive accounts and Proximus struggled to convince its prepaid users to migrate to postpaid services. On the bright side, Proximus was first to launch 4G, in November 2012, giving it a first mover advantage in the all-important mobile data space.
- Our fixed-line forecasts have not been altered as 9M12 growth rates were within expectations, but adoption of fixed broadband services was much slower than expected. Meanwhile, M2M usage continues to grow rapidly. Forecasts have been revised this quarter to reflect the changed market dynamic.
- ARPUs continue to fall, but not as sharply as previously feared. Nevertheless, fresh MTR reductions in January 2013 and the arrival of at least one new player later in the year have yet to make their impact felt on ARPUs.
Key Trends & Developments
Belgacom's Proximus unit launched 4G LTE services on a commercial basis in eight cities in early November 2012. We expect rival Mobistar to redouble its efforts to launch its own service in the near future. However, we are less confident that BASE will respond with any great sense of urgency and the lack of service launch timetables from two new players also raises concerns about the scope for expansion in this saturated market.
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