No magic number of mobile operators


Bruno Liebhaberg (CERRE Director General) and Alexandre de Streel (CERRE Joint Academic Director and Professor at the University of Namur) comment the Belgian Telecom Minister’s statements regarding his wish to see a fourth mobile operator on the Belgian market.

While we can only support the Minister’s ambition to improve telecommunications networks and accessible services for citizens, we should also flag that there is no magic number of operators to achieve those goals. There will always be a trade-off between prices and investments, as demonstrated in a CERRE study. The latter showed that moving from 4 to 3 operators leads to significant growth in investment per operator while prices also increase, though at a lower rate.

What should rather be on top of the Belgian public authorities’ agenda is the development of a coherent and cohesive policy between federal, regional and community levels that will effectively stimulate innovation, investments and competition to the benefit of citizens and the country as a whole.

Read the full original piece in L’Echo, 14 June 2018, « Il n'y pas de nombre magique d'opérateurs télécoms »

Read the CERRE study on Market Consolidation in Mobile Communications