* Mobistar stops offering TV, broadband services to private
* Analysts expect group to be able to access cable networks
(Adds analyst comments, share reaction)
BRUSSELS May 15 Belgian mobile phone operator
Mobistar said on Wednesday it would stop offering
fixed-line services to private customers until the regulator
forces competitors to open their networks.
The regulatory process to open up Belgian cable networks to
competitors has been slow, with cable operator Telenet
trying in the courts to overthrow the regulators' decision to do
so. Analysts expect Mobistar to be able to access the networks
in mid-2014 at the earliest.
Mobistar has so far struggled to come up with competitive
offers with broadband via the network of former state telecoms
monopoly Belgacom, and with TV services via satellite.
In the first three months of 2013 the group lost 15 percent
of its broadband subscribers and a quarter of its TV customers,
compared to the same period last year.
At the same time, the mobile telephony market has been
shaken up by new mobile offers from Telenet, which uses
Mobistar's network, and held back by a string of rules which
limit profitability of mobile telephony.
News that Mobistar would mothball its fixed-line operations
sent its shares up 1.7 percent on Wednesday, though they were
still down some 4 percent since the start of the year.
"Their non-mobile activities have been loss-making at core
profit level, so this is basically good news," said KBC analyst
Mobistar said Wednesday's decision had no impact on its
products for companies.
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek, editing by Ben Deighton and