Orange and Telenet in two-way Belgian wholesale deal
Orange Belgium and Belgian cable operator Telenet have sign two commercial wholesale agreements providing access to each other’s broadband networks.
The agreements will provide access to each other’s fixed networks for a 15-year period and cover both current hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) and fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in both network areas.
Xavier Pichon (pictured), CEO of Orange Belgium, said: “It is a major step forward in the deployment of our leading nationwide multi-gigabit strategy.”
Telenet CEO John Porter said: “I’m pleased with the 15-year partnership we reached with Orange Belgium, building on a fruitful relationship developed over a number of years. Through the agreements, we now have a clear path to wholesale access in the south of Belgium, complementing our existing fixed footprint in Flanders, parts of Brussels and the boot of Hainaut in Wallonia in addition to our nationwide mobile network coverage.”
The deal comes into force only when Orange Belgium completes acquisition of 75% minus one share of VOO. That takeover was announced over a year ago.
Pichon said: “With the acquisition of VOO, we have an ambitious investment plan to upgrade the network and to provide multi-gigabit connectivity to our customers. The agreement on the Telenet network, will complement our ability to provide HFC and FTTH multi-gigabit connectivity value proposition to our customers wherever they live.”
Orange Belgium, with over 3 million customers, said it believes these agreements will foster investment and benefit the customer and competition in the Belgian market. As soon as the VOO acquisition is complete, the company plans to modernise the network in Wallonia – Belgium’s French-speaking region – and the Brussels capital region.
Orange said it will provide Telenet with wholesale access to VOO and Brutélé’s HFC network and to its future FTTH network in the regions.
It will also secure Telenet as a wholesale customer, increasing network penetration and return on modernization investments.
At Telenet, Porter said the deal “will enable us to grow into a nationwide FMC [fixed-mobile convergence] player and provide more choice for customers.”
He added: “Our commercial and go-to-market strategy is far advanced and we have ambitious plans for the south, targeting an off-footprint fixed market share of around 10% over the medium term, which will enhance Telenet’s growth profile.”