Orange again best performer on Belgian mobile market in Q4 2018

Tuesday 12 March 2019 | 10:03 CET | News
Mobile service revenues in Belgium fell to EUR 731 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, down by 1.1 percent from the same period in 2017, according to the latest research by Telecompaper. Orange was the only operator to grow service revenues on an annual basis, with an increase of 5.8 percent, while Proximus showed a loss of 1.1 percent, and Telenet’s service revenues fell 9.5 percent. Telenet was also the worst performer in Q3 2018 and is expecting further headwinds in 2019, due in part to losing MVNOs Mobile Viking and Jim Mobile to Orange. 

The migration from prepaid to postpaid continues in Belgium, with a further 8.8 percent drop in prepaid Sims in 2018. Proximus noted the largest decrease, losing 129,000 prepaid Sims last year. At the end of 2018, prepaid accounted for 16 percent of the 11.42 million Sims in total on the Belgian market, down from a 23.4 percent share in 2016. 

The operators are focused on attracting more customers to postpaid, which offers a greater chance of higher recurring revenues and customer lock-in. The shift is supported by converged fixed-mobile offers, which often carry discounts leading to some revenue pressure, as well as numerous smartphone promotions in the market. In addition, the Belgian operators launched their first unlimited data plans, which carry higher subscription prices.  

Orange was the first operator to offer unlimited data, starting with Eagle Premium in February 2018. Proximus followed in November 2018, and Telenet joined in February 2019. However, none of these plans are truly unlimited, as all three operators work with a maximum of 20GB per month, after which the speed is reduced.  

Telenet was the only operator to lose postpaid customers in 2018, due to a clean-up of 11,000 inactive ‘Base postpaid 0’ customers. Without this effect, Telenet still had the lowest growth in postpaid customers at 8,500, while Proximus added 24,000 and Orange 61,000. Telenet is firmly focused on its converged WIGO offer, but is clearly trailing Orange and Proximus in the mobile-only segment. 

A complete overview of the latest figures in the Belgian mobile market is available with the most recent update of Telecompaper's Belgian mobile database, which is available for purchase. For a customised market analysis, please contact research@telecompaper.com. 

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Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Companies: Jim Mobile / Orange / Proximus / Telenet
Countries: Belgium
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