Annual report 2022

The BIPT monitors the development of competition based on quality, price or innovation. Within the framework of market analyses in the electronic communications sector, the BIPT defines the relevant markets and assesses if certain operators have significant market power. Where appropriate, specific obligations are imposed on them. The year 2022 was devoted to preparatory work for the upcoming review of the broadband and broadcasting wholesale markets. The BIPT also monitors the implementation of the obligations imposed upon SMP operators, among which those consisting in elaborating reference offers to grant access to the infrastructure of the SMP operators to other operators. The tariffs of the reference offers should be determined in accordance with the costs of an efficient operator. In addition to market analyses, the BIPT conducted the first analyses on access to the connection cable (connecting the end-user to the operator’s network) on optical fibre and coax cable networks. The BIPT also started to reflect on the implementation of the freedom of choice of modem for broadband and television services.

The website provides answers to the many questions raised by the large-scale roll-out of optical fibre and raises awareness of the usefulness and importance of optical fibre among different target groups. It was complemented in 2022 by a map of optical fibre showing the status and evolution of the deployment in Belgium. The BIPT also published a study identifying 5G implementations abroad. This study was published to inspire Belgian companies and ensure that the imminent roll-out of 5G is accompanied by rapid adoption of this new technology.

The BIPT monitors the margins between the retail and wholesale prices.

The BIPT conducts an annual national and international analysis of electronic communications tariffs. The BIPT also analyses the quality of fixed and mobile broadband networks in Belgium. The first edition of its qualitative study showed that network coverage was good in Belgium, both for fixed and mobile networks. A second report covering new topics is expected in spring 2023.

The BIPT is also closely following the preparation of the decommissioning of the copper network of Proximus where optical fibre is deployed. It initiated a study, the starting point of which was to interview Proximus and users of its copper network, inviting them to answer a questionnaire about their experiences.

The BIPT follows up other market developments such as mergers. The merger between VOO and Orange Belgium was particularly examined in 2022. The BIPT also follows up the emergence of towercos in Belgium and monitors the relations among the various players.

In 2022, the BIPT also looked into the environmental impact of the electronic communications sector by commissioning a study analysing the ecological footprint of telecommunications networks over the last four years. The results show that the sustainability issue is already taken into account in the operators’ current practices and strategic objectives. The BIPT will continue to monitor the sector with regard to the issue of sustainability in the future.

In 2022, the BIPT also published the annual report on the monitoring of the universal service, as well as the report on net neutrality.

The postal observatory created by the BIPT in 2010 enables the monitoring of developments in the postal sector.

The BIPT monitors the application of the European regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services. In that context, the BIPT analysed the tariffs of the universal service provider (bpost) in order to identify possible unreasonably high tariffs. This analysis has shown that a more in-depth investigation will be required regarding the cost distribution within bpost’s analytical accounting.

The BIPT validated the qualification (universal, public or commercial service) of the various services of the universal postal service provider, bpost, as well as its analytical accounting, and continued its work on the development of a method allowing to control the net cost of the universal service, in case bpost introduced a compensation request.

The BIPT also looked into the sustainability of postal activities. It organised a public survey, with the aim of collecting opinions and receiving proposals on the possibilities for a more environmentally friendly distribution of parcels and, in particular, to make last-mile delivery more sustainable.

Read the complete version of the report (PDF)