Annual report 2022
The multi-band auction resulted in granting rights of use to five companies: the three mobile operators were joined by a consortium presenting itself as the future 4th operator, and by an IT player active in the B2B segment. A report was published, presenting 5G implementations abroad. The website about5G.be continues to answer all questions from the general public.
In its data portal the BIPT maps the status of fibre deployment based on data provided by operators. The data include areas were operators deployed fibre or intend to do it soon. The website Infofibre.be provides an update on the technology, offers, rights and obligations, and granting of authorisations.
Several alternative operators were bought by the traditional operators. Moreover, the latter have set up partnerships or joint ventures to make the infrastructure costs of mobile access and/or fibre networks more bearable. Companies active in the management of antenna sites are also transforming the operators’ activities in terms of maintenance and capital expenditure.
In the broadband and TV markets, the regulation of the last few years is bearing fruit: the competitive dynamic has been revived, consumers have access to a wider offer and receive more value for money when they choose converging offers.
With the granting of rights of use, 5G and the opportunities for innovation it opens up are becoming a reality.
The BIPT conducted the first analyses on access to the connection cable on the optical fibre and coax cable networks. Preparatory studies were conducted for the upcoming review of the broadband and broadcasting wholesale markets.
As every year, the BIPT conducted price studies at both national and international level in the electronic communications sector. In addition, the BIPT conducted a study on the technical quality and coverage of the fixed and mobile broadband networks. In the postal sector, the postal observatory gathers reliable data to understand the state of the market and to monitor its developments.
This technical and economic knowledge of the markets feeds into the thinking of the political authorities in designing the planned reforms. In 2022, the BIPT participated in the revision of the social tariffs for electronic communications. In the postal field, the BIPT also shared its expertise of the parcel delivery market within the framework of the drafting of a bill aiming at improving the working conditions of subcontractors.
The BIPT delineated the use of the terms “unlimited internet” for consumers. It also extended its tariff simulator to offers for microenterprises and the self-employed. In the postal sector, a tool allows consumers to look for and compare alternatives to send a 2 kg parcel.
The environmental impact of the postal activities and their sustainability has been studied. Solutions for a greener distribution of parcels and, in particular, their last-mile delivery, were sought. The ecological footprint of the telecommunications networks over the last four years was analysed. A follow-up will determine the relevance of further measures.
The BIPT operates at the national and international level and has important responsibilities in organisations such as BEREC and UPU. At the national level, the BIPT has established a new collaboration with the Gaming Commission in order to fight illegal online gambling more effectively.
The BIPT has also become the competent authority to settle copyright disputes between online service providers and press publishers. The competences of the BIPT could be extended to other areas of the digital economy (platforms, social networks, streaming services, applications, etc.).