Belgian mobile service provider Mobistar will launch its TV service on March 1, offering up to 70 channels bundled with 100Mbps internet, after taking advantage of the country’s open cable rules that give third-party operators the right to offer cable TV services via wholesale agreements.
Mobistar, which is rebranding as Orange, will launch the service in six cities initially – in eight municipalities of Brussels, Louvain, Alost, Mons, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve and Wavre. The company expects to be able to offer the service nationally by the end of this year.
The service is aonly available for Mobistar customers with an existing contract or those willing to become postpaid customers.
Two offers are available. Mobistar post-paid custoemrs can access the service for €49 a month, while Mobistar customers with Pantehr 45 and 60 plans can get the TV offering for €39 a month.
The TV offering includes analogue channels already available on cable, a digital UI, about a dozen HD channels, pause-live TV on digital services and the ability to make up to four simultaneous recordings. Flat-rate evening and weekend calling and 200Mbps internet are available as add-ons, as is an extra TV set-top for €9 a month, which households restricted to a maximum of four decoders each.
Mobistar’s announcement followed EC approval of the country’s plan, drawn up by regulatory umbrella body the CRC, to open up cable to competitive services at regulated prices. The principal Belgian cable operators – Telenet, Voo and Brutele – will now have to open up their analogue and digital cable services for resale by third-party operators, following years of legal appeals that delayed the final decision.