Members’ issues of concern were on the agenda when a BELTUG delegation recently met with the BIPT-IBPT Council to discuss a number of topics. The need for more competition in the telecoms business market dominated the discussion. A proposal to open up the Belgacom Explore building blocks to other operators, under cost-oriented conditions, is a key element in the regulator’s plan to increase competition in the connectivity market. A practical implementation is expected in the second half of the year.
The very current topic of the 3G and 4G situation was also discussed; BIPT-IBPT is actively involved in the coverage and radiation debate now going on. It is clear to all that a workable solution needs to be found in the short term. Ever since consumers were given more flexible conditions for changing mobile operator, tariffs have come down - to the point that business users often pay higher rates than individuals. This situation clearly highlights the lack of competition on the professional mobile market. Furthermore, the setting of prices doesn’t seem logical to companies. Regardless, prices for mobile internet and mobile data remain high – which is why BELTUG is launching the Mobile Data Index for business.
The new Machine-to-Machine (M2M) numbers (077) that will go live on 1 September were also discussed. The proposed solution will fit the expected EU recommendations in this area. However, for BELTUG/INTUG, the main concern is ensuring that companies can easily change operators for M2M. This issue is on the regulator’s agenda, but it must be tackled on the international level.
The open and constructive meeting highlighted the strong relationship between BELTUG and BIPT-IBPT. This collaboration provides an important channel for reporting relevant business market information and end-user concerns.