At this stage, Orange says it is only a “declaration of interest”. The timing of Orange’s interest is interesting, because recently there was a deal between Nethys and Telenet. In that agreement VOO offers its mobile service from next year via Telenet’s network. This agreement fuelled speculation about a rapprochement between Telenet and VOO.
Orange Belgium advocates an “industrial partnership” with Nethys and Brutélé, the two companies operating the networks marketed under the Voo brand on behalf of Belgian municipalities. Such a merger could lead to the creation of a convergent national telecoms operator with strong roots in Wallonia and Brussels”, explains Orange Belgium.
VOO offers triple play services on the networks owned by Nethys and Brutélé in Wallonia and parts of Brussels, and is the equivalent of Telenet, who operates services in Flanders and others parts of Brussels. Orange Belgium has third-party access to the Telenet cable networks.
At the moment, the Belgian market is carved up between three players, Telenet in Flanders, VOO in Wallonia and Proximus, the former incumbent Belgacom, as a national player, competing with both cable operators.