18/01/24 15:14

Corporate news

Orange Belgium takes the lead as nationwide gigabit network provider

Back to news index

Half a year after the joining of forces with telecom operator VOO, signing a long-term agreement with Wyre (joint venture between Telenet and Fluvius) and launching its ambitious ‘Lead the Future’-strategy, Orange Belgium marks a first milestone in its industrial project. Six months earlier than anticipated, Orange Belgium has become the first telecoms provider in Belgium to offer a nationwide gigabit network, allowing Belgian citizens to enjoy very high broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps on its powerful HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coaxial) network.  


Belgium among the leading 1 Gbps countries in Europe thanks to Orange

At the launch of its ‘Lead the Future’ strategy in June of 2023, Orange Belgium set its goal to provide all Belgians with a very high broadband 1 Gbps coverage by mid-2024. However, thanks to the accelerated modernization of VOO’s HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coaxial) network and the wholesale agreement with Wyre, Orange Belgium can now already claim the title of gigabit network leader for the B2C, B2B and wholesale markets. Thanks to Orange democratizing the fixed gigabit experience for 95% of Belgian households, Belgium is now placed among the leading countries in the ‘Digital Decade’ program, where the European Union has set itself the target of 1 Gbps connectivity for all by 2030. 

Moreover, propelled by own investments and bolstered by subsidies from the Federal government and the Walloon region, Orange Belgium remains dedicated to the modernization of its HFC network, extending its 1 Gbps reach to rural areas. The overarching goal is to render an additional number of approximately 100,000 households eligible for 1 Gbps speeds by the end of 2025. Finally, for the remaining population that is not yet eligible for a high broadband connectivity solution, Orange Belgium will launch a next generation offer via satellite in 2024, capitalizing on the strength of the Orange Group. Both these initiatives underscore Orange Belgium's commitment to bridging the digital divide and providing high-speed connectivity to even the remotest location. 


A technology path towards 10 Gbps for all customers

Orange Belgium is dedicated to delivering a nationwide, future-proof 10 Gbps broadband service that is technology-agnostic. Orange Belgium is actively expanding the use of fiber optics in its HFC network and adopting the latest DOCSIS standards. Over time, to accommodate the growing internet traffic and ensure an optimal customer experience, Orange Belgium anticipates that up to 66% of its network will be covered by FTTP (Fiber To The Premises) by 2040. 

Taking a proactive step towards this vision, Orange Belgium will conduct a Proof of Concept (POC) for FTTP deployment in the metropolitan areas of Liège (including parts of Grâce-Hollogne and Saint-Nicolas) and Brussels (specifically Ixelles) in the first quarter of 2024 for approximately 12,000 households. By 2040, the goal is to cover 75% of the national footprint with end-to-end fiber, achieved through a combination of VOO's 66% FTTP network and wholesale access to Wyre's FTTP network. 


Philippe Toussaint, Chief Technology Officer Fixed & Mobile Network at Orange Belgium & VOO: “Thanks to the exceptional efforts of our VOO network teams, our Hybrid Fiber Coaxial network now delivers 1 Gbps speeds, surpassing our initial timeline by six months. The HFC technology extends 1 Gbps connectivity to 95% of our customers nationwide. Preparing for the future, we are actively conducting tests to achieve multi-gigabit speeds on HFC and starting XGS-PON 10 Gbps fiber pilots in Brussels and Wallonia. These strategic initiatives solidify Orange Belgium's commitment to delivering cutting-edge open connectivity solutions and staying at the forefront of technological advancements in the telecommunications industry.” 


Xavier Pichon, Chief Executive Officer at Orange Belgium: "Orange Belgium takes pride in the fact that it has become the first telecoms provider in Belgium to offer a nationwide gigabit network, ahead of schedule. With our state-of-the-art HFC-network, our customers are now equipped to enjoy an agnostic gigabit experience that extends well into the next decade and beyond. The introduction of a satellite offer, the continuous modernization of our HFC network in Wallonia, and the future deployment of FTTP - in standalone or through partnerships - solidifies Orange Belgium's pivotal societal role. By ensuring very high broadband solutions across Belgium, including even the most isolated areas, we actively contribute to bridging the digital divide and making top-tier connectivity accessible to everyone. Fully in line with the Orange Group’s new brand signature, we can wholeheartedly say ‘Orange is here’!”