According to De Croo, Belgians pay too much for their mobile phone services, especially considering that services are less than in neighbouring countries. Belgians mobile phone services
The licences for new mobiles services are open to tender next year, while existing licences for the Big Three – Telenet, Proximus and Base – expire in 2021. In addition, new licences for new 5G frequencies will be auctioned off in 2020.
“By creating a space for a fourth mobile network, we can ensure new investments, an improved competition and lower prices for the consumer,” De Croo said.
According to estimates, the auction of new 5G frequencies could bring in €700 million for the state coffers, with the benefits going partly to the language communities, and partly to bringing down the state’s debt.
However the idea of opening up the market to a new competitor has been given the cold shoulder by existing operators.
On the announcement of De Croo’s proposal to open up the market to a fourth player, Proximus shares lost an immediate 9% on the stock market. Since the government owns slightly more than half of all Proximus stock, the announcement cost the treasury an estimated €300 million. Belgians mobile phone services
Some of the Belgium MVNO’s:
Mobile Vikings (MVNO, BASE network) – A new operator that is focused on those who are really just interested in data. A monthly top-up of 15 euros will get you
1GB 2GB (new!) of internet and 1000 SMSs free; the 15 euros can then be used for making calls (although the call cost per minute is relatively high at 0.24 euros per minute). If you want to do a lot of calling, they have just launched a ‘Jumbo’ offer which is 40 euros a month and a 0.14 euros per minute cost per call (same amount of free internet and SMSs). Watch your usage though… if you exceed the free 2GB, the rate jumps to 2.50 euros per MB!
Scarlet (MVNO, Proximus network) – Owned by Belgacom, Scarlet re-launched their mobile offer using the Proximus network in February 2009. Mobile offer is free for those that combine it with other packages although you pay for what you use (in other words, there is no monthly top-up). Data is charged at 0.50 euros per MB.
Simyo (MVNO, BASE network) – Owned by KPN, online presence only, no subscriptions, low rates, but everything is pre-pay. Internet access is charged at 1.99 euros per MB.
Cherry (MVNO, BASE network) – Owned by Mondial Telecom, they have an interesting offer that allows certain phones (mainly Nokia’s at the moment) to send/receive calls via WiFi and GSM networks, bridging VoIP and cellular technologies. They are working at extending this to Android and iPhones. Offers mobile internet at 0.50 euros per MB or 30 euros a month for 2GB
Telenet (MVNO, Mobistar network) – The first in Belgium to offer a TV-Phone-Internet-Mobile bundle, Telenet offers a number of pre- and postpaid mobile packages. Data can be pay as you go (for 1 euro per MB) or you can add 200MB of data usage per month for 10 euros; if you exceed 200MB you will be charged 0.15 euros for each extra MB.