Telenet intensifies mobile phone price war in Belgium
* Telenet's push into mobile market sparked price war
* Telenet mobile customer base doubled since Q3 last year
* Belgacom shares fall nearly 5 pct, Telenet drops 0.8 pct
BRUSSELS, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Belgian cable operator Telenet will cut prices for its mobile-only customers, it said on Wednesday, escalating a price war in the Belgian mobile telephony market sparked by aggressive packages it launched last year.
Telenet's recent focus on mobile phone services, for which it uses the Mobistar network, has given it 700,000 mobile customers, more than double the level of a year ago.
The group initially targeted existing television or broadband customers with its mobile offer, but from Monday will charge the same lower prices to mobile-only customers as well.
Telenet will cut the prices of its two mobile packages, "King" to 15 euros ($20) from 20 and "Kong" to 50 euros from 70 per month from Nov. 4.
By 1206 GMT, Telenet shares were off 0.8 percent, and those of market leader Belgacom were 4.6 percent lower.
"Telenet wants to get Belgacom customers on board who are not prepared to buy their fixed, broadband and TV products from Telenet as well. That's certainly a negative for Belgacom," a Brussels based trader said.
Telenet launched its King and Kong tariff plans in July 2012, taking advantage of a law limiting the period customers can be locked into a contract to six months. This greatly increased the number of customers switching providers.
In the third quarter, Belgacom said revenues from mobile phone calls fell by a quarter in the group's consumer business, and declined by a sixth in its business unit. Income from mobile data also fell for both units.
Telenet said its mobile revenues increased by 148 percent in the third quarter, Belgium's No. 2 Mobistar saw a 12.6 percent fall in revenues and KPN said its underlying service revenues fell 7.1 percent in Belgium. ($1 = 0.7262 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Louise Ireland)
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