The Belgian Competition Authority is investigating the active network sharing agreement between the two biggest Belgian mobile network operators, historic operator Proximus and Orange. The cooperation not only aims at optimizing the parties’ current mobile networks, but also to jointly develop their future 5G infrastructures in Belgium. In January 2020, a decision on the claim by third Belgian mobile network operator Telenet for interim measures suspended the cooperation for two months, in order for the Belgian telecoms regulator to provide an opinion on the case. The decision sheds some light on the possible competition concerns raised by the agreement, in particular exchange of sensitive information and reduced competition on infrastructure. Proximus and Orange have since moved forward with their cooperation. The investigation continues under no strict time limit. Its scope may exceed that of Telenet’s complaint.

By Suzanne Jude1

 

I. INTRODUCTION

The two biggest Belgian mobile network operators (“MNOs”), historic operator Proximus and Orange, are joining forces on mobile telecoms infrastructure deployment by actively sharing their nationwide mobile networks.

On November 22, 2019, they signed a Multiple Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN) sharing agreement and a shareholder’s agreement creating a 50/50 joint venture (named MWingz) that will be in charge of planning, construction, and management of the parties’ radio access sites.

Proximus and Oran

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