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Telecommunications in Belgium

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Telecommunications in Belgium

3G mobile data network speed test in downtown Brussels, September 2012. After 2 years of bans on new mobile basestations, the mobile network download speed is down at 0.25 Mbit/s.

Communications in Belgium are extensive and advanced.[1] Belgium possesses the infrastructure for both mobile and land-based telecom, as well as having significant television, radio and internet infrastructure. The country code for Belgium is BE.

Services

Mail

Mail regulation is a national competency. Postal service in Belgium is in many cases performed by Belgian Post Group, a semi-private public company which has a monopoly on letters until 50g weight. Competitors include DHL and UPS.

Postal codes in Belgium consist of four digits which indicate regional areas, e.g. "9000" is the postal code for Ghent.

Telephone

The telephone system itself is highly developed and technologically advanced, with full automation in facilities that handle domestic and international telecom. Domestically speaking, the county has a nationwide cellular telephone system and an extensive network of telephone cables. Telephone regulation is a national competency.

The country code for Belgium is 32 and the international call prefix is 00.

A telephone number in Belgium is a sequence of nine or ten numbers dialled on a telephone to make a call on the telephone network in Belgium. Belgium is under a closed telephone numbering plan, but retains the trunk code, "0", for all national dialling.

Fixed telephones

There were 4.668 million land telephone lines in use in Belgium in 2007, a slight decrease on the 4.769 million in use in 1997.

The majority state-owned public telephone company of Belgium is Belgacom. Some other or private operators exist, as Scarlet (Belgacom) and BASE (KPN).

Mobile telephones

Mobile telephone ownership has increased by nearly one thousand percent in the period 1997-2007, from 974,494 to 10.23 million.

There are three licensed mobile network operators (MNO) in Belgium, Proximus (Belgacom), Mobistar (Orange S.A.) and BASE (KPN) and numerous mobile virtual network operators (MVNO).

A fourth license will be auctioned off by the government in January 2010.

Internet

There were 61 (2003) internet service providers in Belgium, serving 8.113 million internet users in 2009. The country code for Belgian websites is .be.

In September 2009 in Flanders there were 3,048,260 broadband internet customers (DSL and cable), of which 2,520,481 were residential users and 527,779 business users. Only 65,175 dial-up internet access accounts remained in the residential market and 9,580 in the business market.

Internet providers

xDSL Internet Providers

Belgium has numerous copper cable internet providers:

Only Belgacom and Numericable currently offers fixed telephony and digital television in a triple play formula. All other companies offer also fixed telephony in a duo play formula.

Cable Internet Providers

Belgium has three major fiberglas cable internet providers:

These companies all offer fixed telephony and digital television in a triple play formula.

These companies all offer specialised services.

Terrestrial Internet Providers
Satellite Internet Providers
ISP for public services
  • The Brussels Regional Informatics Center (BRIC, Centre d'Informatique pour la Région Bruxelloise in French)offers Internet access to public administrations in the Brussels-Capital Region, relying directly on the national Belnet network and the IRISnet network.[2]
Not categorized

Other ISP are Chat.be, Combell, Connexeon, HostIT, Microsoft Belgium, Netlog, Ulysse, Ven Brussels, Rack66 (EUSIP bvba), WSD Hosting.

Popular websites

The most popular internet websites accessed from a Belgian ISP in 2008 are:

  1. google.be
  2. facebook.com
  3. live.com
  4. youtube.com
  5. google.com
  6. skyrock.com
  7. msn.com
  8. yahoo.com
  9. netlog.com
  10. google.fr
  11. ebay.be
  12. WorldHeritage.org
  13. dailymotion.com
  14. blogger.com
  15. partypoker.com

Other

The microwave relay network is, however, more limited. For international communications, Belgium has 5 submarine cables and a number of satellite earth stations, two of which are Intelsat, and one Eutelsat.

References

  1. ^ "Belgium". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.irisnet.eu/en?set_language=en regional

External links

  • BIPT - Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications
  • ISPA - Internet Service Providers Association of Belgium
  • DNS - Domain Name System Belgium
  • MAVISE - Belgian TV market
  • Agoria - Federation of Belgian IT Employers
  • Beltug - Federation of Belgian ICT Professionals
  • UPP - Union of Belgian Periodical Press Publishers
  • Febelma - Belgian Federation of Magazines
  • VRM - Flemish Media Regulator (Dutch community)
  • CSA - High Council for the Audiovisual Media (French community)
  • MDGB - Germanic Media Council of Belgium (Germanic community)
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