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Orange Belgium welcomes the final decision of the regulators to stimulate the competition on the fixed internet and TV market

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Referring to the now final decision of the regulators regarding the TV and broadband market analysis, Orange Belgium welcomes the measures put forward to strengthen the competition on the fixed telecom markets in the interest of the consumers. The future financial conditions mark an important step towards a sustainable internet and TV offer, with the possibility to launch an internet only offer over time. Also, the operational improvements that are imposed will enhance the experience of the Orange internet & TV customers.

The final decision of the regulators following the Market Analysis process that started in 2017, will allow Orange Belgium to:

  • benefit from more sustainable financial conditions over time, more precisely a temporary wholesale price tariff that is no longer linked to the retail tariffs of the cable operators and that is clearly lower than before in Flanders. As requested by the European Commission, Orange asks that the regulators determine the announced wholesale charges based the underlying costs as soon as possible.

  • propose a better experience to its customers thanks to the improvement of operational conditions. For instance, in the future, Orange technicians will be allowed to access both the outside as the inside part of a customers’ cable infrastructure.In practice, this will allow that the large majority of installations can be done by a single intervention.Various other operational improvements described in the decision will make sure the quality of the Love installation and maintenance process will be improved.

  • address the possibility to build an “internet only” offer, which is not allowed by the old regulatory conditions. The old conditions imposed that any end-user offer had to include a fixed TV service component. While the temporary financial conditions don’t allow yet to offer such service in an attractive way, Orange counts on it that the future cost-based wholesale charges will enable the launch of such offer in an economically sustainable way.

While the changes of the regulatory framework for access to the cable networks will allow to substantially improve the offer for the consumers, the principles put forward for the regulation of Proximus' fiber network, once further developed and implement, will provide an improved foundation to increase the competition on the fixed B2B market.

Towards a more sustainable internet and TV offer in the future

Michaël Trabbia, CEO of Orange Belgium, reacts: “Orange Belgium is the ‘bold challenger’ of the market focusing on customers’ expectations for simple and worry-free offers. We have started to shake competition thanks to our Love convergent offers and our new mobile unlimited offers. The new regulation allow us to continue investing to offer the Belgian customers a qualitative and attractive Internet and TV alternative, to improve the quality of service and the installation process, and to answer to an unmet need of the market for Internet only offers as soon as the regulation will allow it.”

Necessary changes in the interest of the Belgian consumer

Since many years, the Belgian customers have suffered from a lack of competition in the internet & TV market, characterized by high retail tariffs with regular price increases.  Orange’s internet and TV (“Love”) offer, launched in 2016, has marked a step change in the market dynamic by offering consumers a qualitative alternative at an attractive price. Now more than 122.000 customers trust Orange for their fixed Internet & TV service. To get there, Orange spent more than 60 M€ (excluding indirect costs) and created more than 200 (direct and indirect) jobs. Orange keeps improving its Love proposition regularly, with new content and features.  Orange’s call upon the regulators to improve the cable access operational and financial conditions to offer a sustainable internet & TV product that is a real alternative for the Belgian consumer is starting to materialize.

The first phase of the improved financial conditions will be effective as from August 1, 2018; the operational improvements will be gradually introduced over time.