Telenet and Orange have signed a new agreement that will give them access to each other’s landlines for fifteen years, both telecoms companies report. Telenet can now, for the first time, sell fixed-line internet and television throughout Wallonia. However, the EU Commission still has to give the green light.
The deal is a new step in a thorough reshaping of the Belgian telecoms landscape. At the end of 2021, Orange signed an agreement with the Liège inter-municipal company Nethys to acquire the Walloon telecom operator VOO. Orange then beat Telenet, among others.
This takeover is not yet complete. After all, the European Commission has launched an in-depth investigation because it fears a restriction of competition. Completion of the network deal now concluded between Telenet and Orange depends on the successful completion of the VOO acquisition.
But when the traffic light finally turns green, Telenet will gain access to the VOO/Orange network in Wallonia and Brussels. Such a regulation is no exception: Conversely, since 2016, Orange has been offering internet and television via Telenet cable in Flanders. Telenet was forced by the government to open up its infrastructure to bring more competition to the market. This agreement will now be continued for fifteen years through a wholesale commercial agreement. Effective immediately, Telenet and Orange are also giving each other access to the fiber optic networks that they want to expand.
For example, after missing out on VOO, Telenet still gets access to the entire broadband market in southern Belgium. Through acquisitions, the company from Mechelen has already expanded its network to include parts of Brussels and an area in the Hainaut in recent years. Telenet also already has a mobile network (BASE) in Wallonia. It will soon be able to offer the same fixed and mobile services throughout Belgium.
Telenet CEO John Porter is aiming for a market share of around 10 percent in fixed line services in the south of the country in the medium term, he says. The commercial strategy is already well developed, they say. The launch is planned for early next year.
Source : HLN