Belgian operators join campaign to boost mobile Internet take-up

Proximus, Mobistar and Base Belgium are among 14 Belgian operators that have signed up to a campaign launched by the country's government and regulator to boost Belgium's mobile broadband penetration rate from its current level of 57.5 per cent.

The 'surf mobile' campaign, which kicks off on Oct. 1, is an initiative of Alexander De Croo, the Belgian Vice-Premier and Minister of the Digital Agenda and Telecom; the postal and telecoms regulator BIPT; and FPS Economy (the former Belgian Ministry of Economics).

In a joint press release, the three bodies noted that Belgium's mobile Internet penetration rate may have increased strongly in recent years -- from 16 per cent in 2011 to 57.5 per cent by the end of 2014 -- but is still below the EU average (66.7 per cent).

Minister De Croo said the campaign is an opportunity for people to become acquainted with the advantages of the mobile Internet.

"I am pleased that 14 mobile operators join hands along with 'Digital Belgium'. This way we eliminate the lag our country has in the use of mobile Internet and we give an extra boost to the digital economy," De Croo added.

Axel Desmedt, a member of the BIPT Council, stressed that the current mobile broadband penetration rate "is not sufficient."

"In order to remedy this, we, together with the Minister and the FPS Economy, wish in the first place to instil trust into the consumer as regards the use of mobile data and hope that numerous consumers will get to know mobile Internet in a positive and profitable manner during October thanks to the telecom operators' actions," Desmedt said.

During October, the 14 operators will offer various free promotions to encourage users to try out mobile data services.

For example, Proximus is offering 1 GB of free mobile Internet access throughout the month to users that do not have mobile Internet in their rate plan and have not used it recently. Mobistar is giving away 1.25 GB to customers who have a smartphone but do not currently subscribe to a package with mobile data.

Base Belgium, meanwhile, is offering free and unlimited mobile Internet access to all Base, Jim Mobile, Contact Mobile, Türk Telekom and Allo RTL customers on the weekend of Oct. 3 and 4. The company has also launched a special promotion offering 25 GB for €10 that is valid until the end of November.

For more:
- see the BIPT release

Related articles:
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Mobistar surprises with rise in Q1 core profit
KPN sells BASE Belgium to Liberty Global's Telenet for €1.33B
Belgacom sees 2015 as 'tipping point' en route to growth

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