On February 10th, Telenet welcomes Lycamobile as a Full MVNO on its mobile network. A significant milestone for Telenet as Lycamobile is the world's largest international MVNO. At the same time, Telenet sells its MVNO subsidiary Ortel Mobile to Lycamobile. The combined customer base of Lycamobile and Ortel Mobile in Belgium is approximately 1 million customers. This further builds on BASE’s past successful approach of targeted multi-brand partnerships, including MVNO partnerships.
Telenet Business launches ‘The Digital Acceleration’ in March to further stimulate digital business. 1,000 self-employed and SMEs can benefit from a free visit of an independent digital expert during which they get tailored advice about advertising on social media, creating a web shop, sending targeted e-mails etc. .
In March Telenet launches Flow Tech. It brings together all technologies used by Telenet to ensure all devices work seamlessly together on different networks.
On April 1st, Telenet Business launches Corporate Fibernet 500/50 Mbps: the highest download and upload speeds for the SME market. This is the fastest Telenet coax product and is one of the fastest in Europe.
In May Telenet announces that football fans can enjoy all the games of the Jupiler Pro League on Play Sports for the next three seasons. This will reinforce Telenet as an important player in the entertainment and sporting space.
On May 4th Telenet announces its investment in Antwerp-based company Spencer. Spencer is a start-up that developed an app that serves as a digital workplace assistant for employees. The tool alleviates a pain that all employees understand: having to switch between different programs to take holiday, schedule a meeting, or file an expense note. With this participation, Telenet aims to bank on other services than telecom.
At the end of May the application ‘itsme’ was launched. The four big banks and three mobile network operators in Belgium have joined forces to form the Belgian Mobile ID consortium to develop a digital identity. Itsme serves as a single digital identity that replaces all passwords on the web.
In June, the Belgian Competition Authority gives Telenet the green light to take over SFR BeLux. With this, Telenet extends its cable presence in a part of Wallonia, parts of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, while covering roughly two-thirds of the Brussels footprint. This is a significant step in realizing Telenet’s ambition of being a leading provider of converged connected entertainment and B2B services nationwide.
After 10 years in the mobile market, Telenet reaches in January 2016 the milestone of 1 million mobile customers. The number of mobile customers doubled the past three years.
In February 2016 the European Commission gives Telenet the green light for the takeover of BASE Company from KPN. This way Telenet secures its future as a leading provider of integrated telecom services. As of now, Telenet is present with the Telenet brand in Flanders and 7 municipalities in Brussels. With the BASE brand Telenet is present in Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia.
In May Telenet launches its first own TV-series Chaussée d’Amour, a production of deMensen. All episodes were immediately available for all Play and Play More subscribers. This was a response to the changing wishes of the media consumer who wants to watch series at his own pace. In only two weeks’ time, the series was requested almost half a million times, making it the most requested series in ‘video on demand’ at Telenet.
Also in May Telenet becomes a strategic partner of Start it @kbc, the biggest start-up community in Belgium. Together they will guide innovative and scalable start-ups, from an innovative idea to a sustainable company. With this partnership Telenet gives a new twist to the Telenet Kickstart acceleration program. In addition, Telenet expresses the wish to set-up a start-up growth program for entrepreneurs active in the Telecom, Media and Entertainment, in close cooperation with IMEC.
Early June Telenet breaks through the traditional barriers between fixed and mobile and launches the first real all-in offer for families and enterprises: WIGO. It was a response to the changing customer behaviour. WIGO was welcomed successfully: in only four months there were already 99.900 subscribers.
In August we started the modernisation of our mobile network. Telenet signed a long term agreement with ZTE to provide all mobile sites with the latest radio equipment: the capacity of the network will be strengthened and the coverage will be extended. By 2021 we will also build 800 to 1,000 new antennas. This investment of 250 million euro prepares our network for larger data volumes and makes it ready to serve all the Telenet customers – who are currently still on the Orange network.
In September Telenet is being rewarded, for the fifth year in a row, as global leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the global media sector. Telenet also confirms its membership in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe and World Indices.
In October Telenet announces – together with VIER – a new fiction series ‘De Dag’: a project of film producers Jonas Geirnaert and Julie Mahieu in a production of FBO and Woestijnvis. For Telenet this is the second investment in own fiction series after Chaussée d’Amour. The production is also financially supported by the VAF/Mediafonds. Telenet’s investments in qualitative local entertainment boosts the Flemish media landscape.
Mid-December Telenet renews its Play More entertainment offer and launches Mr. More, a Messenger application that gives customers suggestions to watch content in an interactive way. Mr. More is a test project developed by the communications agency TBWA together with Froomle, a spin-off of the University of Antwerp.
Also mid-December Telenet opens, in the presence of mayor Bart Somers, a new contact center in Mechelen-South. With this new contact center, Telenet strengthens it anchoring in the city of Mechelen.
In December Telenet announces that it has reached a definitive agreement to takeover SFR BeLux from Altice L.C. This allows Telenet to extend its cable presence in Brussels, a part of Wallonia and parts of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This contributes to the strategy to be a leading provider of telecom and entertainment in Belgium.
On 24 February, it was announced that the European Commission had approved Telenet’s proposed 50% stake in De Vijver Media. In mid-June 2014, Telenet announced that it had concluded an agreement with the shareholders of De Vijver Media to give SBS and Woestijnvis the opportunity to develop their strategy further and continue producing top class local creative programmes. After this approval, the transaction can be officially finalised within a few days.
In March, Telenet gave an update on its investment project The Great Network Site. This year, Telenet has created over 350 new jobs within The Great Network Site. Most of those positions are technical jobs and are occupied via nine subcontractors. They have been selected as the regular partner of The Great Network Site. About 250 technicians are being trained to carry out work on the coax network. Another hundred or so are being given special training so that they can help clients properly during a ‘check-up’ on their indoor installation. With a strong presence in the street and amongst clients at home, Telenet is aiming to ensure that clients can also benefit from Telenet services to the full in the future.
On 20 April, Telenet announced that it had concluded a final agreement to take over BASE Company from the public limited company Koninklijke KPN N.V. for 1,325 billion euros. This takeover gives Telenet long-term access to a mobile network. This means that Telenet will be able to compete effectively for growth opportunities in mobile communication. Therefore, the company will be able to meet the growing demand from both private and corporate clients for a full range of landline and mobile services. The takeover will enable Telenet to continue to offer its clients an excellent service.
At the end of May, Telenet presented the cast for its own first television series ‘Chaussée d'Amour’. With a mix of well-known and new names, Telenet and production house deMENSEN have opted for a mix of youth and experience.
In June, Telenet announced that it would be working together again with Idealabs to stimulate digital enterprise in Flanders. Anyone with innovative digital ideas can register until 15 August for the new accelerator programme ‘Telenet Kick-start, powered by Idealabs’.
Sporting Telenet is making way for Play Sports from 20 July onwards. With a new range and an intensive total package, Play Sports aims to bring sporters and supporters closer together. The wide sporting range focuses on Belgian sporting heroes. Sports enthusiasts now have perfect viewing for the best football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, motor sport, golf, and cyclo-cross. They come closer to their heroes thanks to the innovative concepts, which help them as supporters. New programmes and competitions, live reporting, a staggering Play Sports app with live statistics and top class entertainment on and off the screen provide a total package for those who love sport.
In January, Telenet confirms it intends to enter into a joint venture with the Pro League for live television coverage of the Belgian first division football on a Jupiler Pro League channel. All interested television platforms can integrate this channel in their own offer. The proposal has been submitted to the Pro League clubs. A positive decision means all consumers will be able to enjoy the Belgian first division football through their own provider.
In February Telenet announced that its current distribution agreement with VRT will be extended for four years and greatly expanded. Thanks to the additional distribution rights, customers will also have access to 'Catch up' television later this year and will be able to retrieve all VRT programmes from the past seven days. In addition, it will also be possible to view previously made recordings of VRT programmes on PCs, tablets or smartphones.
In early March, Sporting Telenet and REC Radio Center announce the winners of the search for two football commentators. Kjell Langeraet and Alexander Adriaenssens were selected out of the last five candidates. They will work on a freelance basis as football commentator for Sporting Telenet.
Also in March Telenet shakes up the mobile market with renewed KING and KONG rate plans. For five euro’s extra customers get a KING supersize, with twice as many voice minutes, SMS and data. KONG customers now pay 5 euros less per month while their subscription is boosted. As of March 31, the network will be extended with 4G, included in all tariff plans without additional cost.
March 20, MEDIALAAN and Telenet announce that they have signed a new cooperation agreement until the end of 2017. This agreement regulates the television rights (live and delayed) between the two parties, and allows them to respond to the demands of the modern television viewer. Thanks to this agreement, VTM, 2BE, Vitaya, VTMKZOOM and JIM will also be available for Yelo TV, and can therefore also be watched via tablet, PC and Smartphone.
On march 27 Mr Bert De Graeve and Mr Stéfan Descheemaeker are nominated as new independent directors of the company. Three of the four independent directors (Messrs Frank Donck, Alex Brabers and Julien De Wilde) will see their mandates conclude at the upcoming general meeting of shareholders. This is because their independent directorships cannot be extended by law as they have either been directors for 12 years within the Telenet group or have spent three successive terms as independent directors.
In may, Telenet launches a service policy for purchased Digicorders, Digiboxes and CI+ modules (“TV with a Card”) with immediate effect. The company undertakes to guarantee the basic digital television service that are provided on these purchased decoders for a period of five years. With this, Telenet is responding to reactions from customers following the announced discontinuation of support of Standard Definition (SD) decoders on 2 September 2014. The new service policy is applicable to all TV decoders sold by Telenet that are currently available in the market, or that will be launched onto the market in the future.
Mid May Telenet announces that it will invest heavily in young Flemish digital entrepreneurial talent to stimulate innovation. This will initially take the form of a partnership with Idealabs, the start-up community and accelerator that will now be called Telenet Idealabs. Telenet Idealabs wants to give young digital entrepreneurs a firm boost. The Mechelen-based firm also announced it will work together with iMinds on the iStart programme. Over the next two years, Telenet will invest a total of one million euros in innovation trajectories of young local entrepreneurs to help put Flanders even more firmly on the innovation map.
In June, Telenet is also able to reasure to its Sporting Telenet customers that they can follow all matches of the Belgian competition live on Sporting Telenet until the 2016-2017 season. This allows all consumers to enjoy The Jupiler Pro League, regardless of their television provider. Football aficionados will no longer (annoyingly) have to change television operator every time the broadcasting rights change hands. Telenet is happy that the rights have been awarded for the next three years on a non-exclusive basis by the Jupiler Pro League.
June 17th, Telenet announces today that it has reached an agreement with the shareholders of De Vijver Media to make sure that Flemish viewers can still enjoy the large number of Flemish quality programmes on channels VIER and VIJF. Telenet acquires a 50% stake in De Vijver Media via an acquisition of Sanoma's shares for €26 million and an additional cash investment in the company of €32 million. Wouter Vandenhaute, CEO of De Vijver Media and his business partner, Erik Watté, keep 25 % of the shares through their company W&W. Corelio also keeps 25 % of the shares in De Vijver Media. Telenet's long-term participation gives SBS and Woestijnvis the necessary breathing space to develop their strategy further, and at the same time new financial and technological possibilities are created for the Flemish audio-visual sector to continue producing local creative top programmes. The agreement will now - as laid down by law - be submitted to the European Competition Authorities for final approval.
The end of August, Telenet announces that over the coming five years, as the first operator in Europe, the company will invest a total of 500 million euros to upgrade the cable network in Flanders to a Giga network. This network offers tremendous opportunities for increases in data over the Internet and in time will be able to support broadband speeds of at least 1 Gigabit per second. As a result, Flanders will top the list of regions with the best digital infrastructure in Europe. With this large-scale network investment, Telenet is preparing for the ever increasing amount of data traffic and will be catering for the future digital requirements of private users, the business community, government, education, the healthcare and security sector as well as other sectors of society. In addition, 250 new jobs are being created in Flanders during the course of the project.
On 6 October 2014, Telenet announced that it is investing heavily in the next few years on the further expansion of its Wi-Free network to ensure that clients can also get the best connection and new digital applications at all times and in all places, even when travelling. Telenet is also the first operator in Belgium to deploy EAP, a new form of technology whereby clients only have to register once on their mobile device. After that, they can connect automatically with home spots or hot spots. Furthermore, Telenet has also announced that in 2015 it will be providing a Wi-Fi network in shopping centres in various cities, including Mechelen and Kortrijk. This offers scores of digital opportunities for both locals and tourists. These investments are the second pillar in the comprehensive project The Great Network Site (‘De Grote Netwerf’).
On 10 December 2014, Telenet announced the next step in its entertainment strategy. With Play, Telenet is the only operator in Belgium to merge contact from local channels, an extensive collection of international films and series, and the best television functionalities, such as Terugkijk TV (facility to watch programmes again), into one single and ingenious product.
At the beginning of 2013 Telenet bestowed its first “Yellow Thumb” award. From now on this prize will be awarded annually to exceptional initiatives that make a difference in promoting safe, responsible and accessible computer and internet use.
On February 21st Telenet announces the official launch of Yelo TV.
On March 5th, CEO Duco Sickinghe announces his resignation. John Porter is appointed as new CEO of the company.
In April, Sporting Telenet launches a search for two new football commentators. The sports channel of Telenet, in cooperation with the REC Radiocentrum, organizes a thorough training for 20 candidates. After the course of almost a year, two top talents will be appointed in March 2014 as football commentator of Sporting Telenet.
Telenet launches Triiing, an application that lets you call over WiFi on behalf of the fixed line.
Mid May COO Jan Vorstermans announces his departure. He is succeeded by Micha Berger (CTO) and Veenod Kurup (CIO).
In late May, Telenet host of "The Biggest Helpdesk of Flanders", an initiative of Radio 2 where Hein Decaluwe surrounded by numerous experts, a week-long zooms in on "safe Internet".
In June CFO Renaat Berckmoes also announces his departure.
In June Telenet launches "TV with a card". By plugging a smartcard with CI + module in his TV set the customer can watch TV in digital image and sound quality, without box or additional cables.
On June 24 Telenet launches Whop and Whoppa, two new simple all-in-one formulas that replace the "shakes".
A few days later, Telenet announced the first 11 projects that receive financial support from the STAP-investment plan. Telenet will invest the next 4 years, a total of 30 million euros to in the Flemish media landscape. Among others, the new serie of VIER, 'Omerta', and the movie of FC de Kampioenen were selected.
In early September, Telenet announced that the company is included in both the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe as the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index in 2013. It is the third consecutive year that Telenet is included in this reputed indices. Telenet was also named for the second consecutive year best- in-class in the global media industry.
Also in September Telenet launches Rex & Rio: two new unlimited content packages. Rex and Rio customers have access to a large library with a wide selection of not-to - miss movies, popular series, TV programs, documentaries, supplemented by a series of thematic channels for every taste.
In February Telenet launches its new mobile offering "Walk & Connect". The customer chooses between or more voice minutes, or more text messages in the bundle. Each subscription has standard mobile internet included.
In March, Telenet provides a thorough update of Yelo. The app is now available on Android, there are 14 new channels added, there is a new look & feel and Yelo is available via Telenet hotspots and homespots.
Also in March Telenet launches Cloud Office, a virtual office environment which offers customers an integrated range of applications.
Sporting Telenet expands its football offer significantly. As of next season, the sports channel broadcasts all Jupiler Pro League matches.
In May, Mobistar and Telenet announce the extension of their strategic partnership. The Full MVNO agreement is prolonged until 2017.
On July 2, Telenet launches its new TV product, Teletenne. With an antenna and a special decoder customers in Flanders and Brussels can watch television, even where a cable connection is difficult or not possible.
In June, Telenet announces that it will delete the notice period for its Internet, television and fixed and mobile telephony products. From 1 October, existing and new residential customers, small businesses and self-employed can cancel their subscription anytime without termination fee.
In July Telenet shakes up the Belgian mobile telephony market with the launch of two new mobile tariff plans. The operator simplifies its offer to two subscriptions: KING & KONG. Both plans contain much more data, SMS and voice minutes than the average consumer uses and are very competitively priced.
In September 2012 Telenet was incorporated in both the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the second time. These Indices identify the leading companies with respect to economic, ecological and social performance in each sector. For the first time Telenet was also voted ‘Best in Class’ in the worldwide media sector.
Mid October, Telenet presents a sneak preview of its new television product Yelo TV. This innovation seamlessly transmits the television experience to a device of choice. Content is exchangeable between all the screens in a household and viewers can watch live TV or recorded programmes on their tablet, computer or smartphone. By the same token, photographs and videos on a laptop or smartphone can easily be viewed on a central TV set.
At the end of October 2012 Telenet signed an exclusive three year deal with HBO. PRIME viewers can rest assured that they will be the first to be able to view all new HBO releases in Belgium on their television sets.
As of January 2011, all Telenet Internet customers can use the 1200 hotspots in Belgium and Luxembourgfree of charge.
Telenet launched the iPhone. The distribution of the iPhone is an important step in the positioning of Telenet as a provider of mobile products.
Following a tendering procedure, Telenet acquired a number of exclusive pay television rights to broadcast the Belgian football competition during the next three seasons. This allows Telenet to present the top three matches live and complete per match day on its sports channel PRIME SPORT (renamed Sporting Telenet).
In June 2011, Telenet and the Walloon cable operator Tecteo both acquired the fourth 3G licence. The bid for the technology-neutral spectrum will substantially strengthen Telenet’s position as challenger in the mobile telephony market and open up opportunities in high‐speed mobile data transmission networks such as LTE. At the same time, the possession of frequency spectrum is also an insurance policy against future capacity problems on existing mobile networks and guarantees attractive terms of access for Telenet in the future.
In July, Telenet launched a new store concept, the SmartSpot. In this new store concept, the customer experiences evolving mobile technology through high tech and interactivity.
On 18 July 2011, the CRC (Conference of Regulators) submitted a formal decision to regulate the Belgian broadcasting market. Telenet regrets that the CRC did not align its amended draft proposal of 20 May 2011 to the fundamental concerns echoed by the European Commission a month earlier. Telenet is to appeal this decision.
In September Telenet is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index and the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Telenet is thus the only Belgian company and the only cable operator in this reputed indices.
In December BW Imsir and Telenet win the price of the audience of the Supply Chain Awards with the project "Reverse Logistics with a social touch". Telenet has been working for ten years with the sheltered workshop BW Imsir.
In February, Telenet launched Fibernet, a new Internet generation allowing speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Besides a higher speed Internet connection, Telenet also offered more than one million Internet customers a higher download volume.
Telenet concluded an agreement with Norkring Belgium, allowing Telenet to offer its customers in Flanders and Brussels digital television and radio by aerial. With this development, Telenet follows its customers and enables them to receive digital TV and radio in remote residences, caravans, cars, boats or holiday homes.
Telenet took over C-CURE, a Mechelen-based firm specializing in Internet security. By this acquisition, Telenet sought to integrate security solutions in its Internet services to businesses and extended its product offering with managed security services.
Telenet started with the Full MVNO in mid-October. In this connection, Telenet had already built certain elements of its own mobile network infrastructure, including a switch and a billing platform. In October, the migration of its more profitable subscribers to this new platform started.
As mobile virtual network operator, Telenet was the first operator in Belgium to begin tests to study and assess the new possibilities of 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution). Telenet obtained the necessary testing licences from the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) to cover the city of Mechelen and the E19 motorway between Mechelen North and Mechelen South.
Telenet was the first in Europe to launch Video-on-Demand in 3D. The TV video library held six films and documentaries.
Telenet customers can programme their digicorder remotely over their PC or smartphone.
In December 2010, Telenet launched Yelo. This system enables subscribers to watch their favourite programmes on other appliances than a conventional TV: iPad, iPhone or laptop PC. In addition, Yelo offers various useful services, such as an electronic programme guide and the ability to programme a set-top box remotely or to request programmes à la carte.
Telenet extended its strategic partnership with Mobistar for a period of at least three years. The new partnership evolved to a full MVNO agreement (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), allowing Telenet to build its own MSC (Mobile Switching Centre) and work together with Mobistar for its voice & data radio infrastructure.
In March, the Telenet share became included in the Bel 20 index. At the same time, trading began in Brussels in stock options of Telenet Group Holding NV.
Telenet took over the shops and sales outlets of BelCompanyin Belgium from Macintosh Retail Group. BelCompany is the second biggest independent provider of mobile telecom and related products in Belgium. By this acquisition, Telenet gained a useful tool to more easily reach the general public directly with its mobile telecom offering.
Telenet voluntarily introduced a social rate for Internet, as it had already done earlier for its other services. With this measure, Telenet wants to allow low-income households to become acquainted with broadband Internet at a modest monthly charge. Telenet also takes an active part in Start to Surf, a scheme that was launched by the government. In this way, Telenet takes fresh steps in its ambition to help close the digital divide.
Telenet launched Walk & Talk, a new mobile telephony product that combines an attractive rate plan with a mobile phone appliance offered for just 1 euro. Walk & Talk is a new step in Telenet’s mobile strategy. By coupling mobile phone appliances with attractive subscription offers, Telenet seeks to make the Belgian mobile phone market more dynamic in order to lower the prices of basic mobile services and increase the penetration of mobile broadband services.
In 2009, Telenet introduced the ‘customer certificate’ for the first time. Employees who do not come into contact with customers on a daily basis will spend one day per year with customers. They will work in a Telenet Shop, accompany an installation technician, or listen in at one of the call centres. In this way, Telenet wants to make sure that everyone truly understands what customers expect from us.
Telenet announced its programme Digital Wave 2015. Over the next few years, the group will continue to develop the most state-of-the-art network, which in the near future should make possible new network applications such as high-tech video applications, 3D television, remote medical support, etc. With this ambitious programme, Telenet makes an active contribution to the ongoing digitization of Flanders.
The Telenet logo was given a new look.
The Flemish Public Cable Companies, Interkabel and Telenet finalized the formal agreement for the acquisition of the analogue and digital customer base and for the purchase and long-term lease of certain INDI network components by Telenet. Telenet would launch Telenet Digital TV in Interkabel area on 15 October 2008. By taking over Interkabel at the end of 2008, Telenet now covers the whole of Flanders and part of Brussels by conventional cable.
In 2008, Telenet increased the broadband speed of all its products and in August launched its new product bundles, the Shakes.
In December 2008, Telenet became the principal shareholder of T-VGAS. This new company runs the gaming site 9-Lives, the magazine GUNK, the brand GUNK TV, and a new digital entertainment channel, to be launched in May 2009.
In 2008 Telenet made substantial efforts in the area of customer satisfaction with the opening of the very first Telenet Shop in Leuven. This shop complements the 42 Telenet Centres and helps to give Telenet a look. Two new call centres were set up in Aalst and Sint-Truiden. In addition, 160 new technicians were recruited. Telenet also came up with the concept of self-installation: the customer is supplied with a self-installation kit that satisfies the technical requirements of the area.
In order to improve the quality of its service even more, Telenet proactively monitors forums and blogs to find out what customers say and think of the company. To answer questions, respond to ideas and give Telenet a ‘voice’, virtual assistant ‘Charlotte’ was created.
Telenet changed its energy supply contract to have all electricity 100% green.
Telenet launched HDTV, High Definition Digital Television, in early December 2007. Viewers who rent a HD Digicorder can choose between two HD Packs with a unique offering of films, sports, documentaries and cultural programmes.
Sixteen new Telenet Centres were opened, where customers can have equipment repaired and replaced, and ask advice.
In May, Telenet launched the Packs, product bundles with Internet, telephony and iDTV at a low price.
Telenet took over Hostbasket. Founded in 2000 and entirely privately owned, Hostbasket is the leading hosting provider for the market of small and medium-sized businesses in Belgium. The combined strength of Hostbasket and Telenet Solutions will lead to innovatory ICT services with proven added value for the new generation of business users.
On 16 October 2007, Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters officially opened the third section of the Telenet building on Caputsteenstraat in Mechelen.
In November 2007, Telenet reached an agreement in principle with Interkabel (the pure intermunicipal operators) for the transfer of their TV activities. Consumers living in the area covered by the pure intermunicipal cable operators gained access to Telenet’s complete interactive digital television offering and to the Internet, telephony and TV packs. The cable infrastructure remains the property of Interkabel.
Telenet introduced a new logo.
In January 2006, Telenet launched the Telenet Digicorder, which enables customers to record programmes (PVR) and pause. A new function, e-mail on TV, gives each family member an e-mail address on television.
In February 2006, new extension works began on the Telenet offices in Mechelen.
The first Telenet Shop opened in 2006.
On 14 February, Telenet announced its agreement with Mobistar covering the establishment of a new mobile virtual network operator. Telenet launched its mobile telephony services in August 2006 under the trademark Telenet Mobile. Telenet provides this service as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), with Mobistar supplying all network services to Telenet’s mobile customers as well as access to Mobistar’s mobile telecommunications network.
Telenet celebrated its tenth anniversary in November. By then the company had 1,671 people on its payroll.
Telenet took over UPC Belgium and so was able to extend its coverage to the Brussels area (Etterbeek, Ganshoren, Koekelberg, Jette, Schaarbeek, St.-Agatha Berchem and Vorst) and also take in three towns in Flanders (Leuven, Heverlee and Kessel-Lo).
Telenet launched GarageTV and Telenet Photo. With Telenet Photo, users can view images online as well as on the digibox or digicorder.
Over the past ten years, Telenet made an important contribution to society by supporting various projects and good causes. Today this is reflected in an extensive Corporate Social Responsibility programme. As a responsible social partner, Telenet wants to help close the digital divide in Belgium and abroad. In order to structure those objectives, Telenet set up the Telenet Foundation.
Telenet launched a large-scale beta test of Internet telephony under the name Zoof.
Telenet launched interactive digital television on 3 September. The triple play services of Telenet are now fully digital. The entire network of Telenet was switched over from analogue to digital overnight. Digital TV means freedom for the viewer: you can watch what you want when you want. By the end of 2005, some 80 channels could be viewed.
Telenet digital TV customers were also the first to be able to watch TV programmes ‘à la carte’. Viewers can request programmes which they missed or which had been broadcast earlier. They can also choose from a wide selection of films and watch them straightaway. The Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) gives viewers a full overview of all the programmes on all channels over the next two weeks.
On 5 September, the Board of Telenet gave the go-ahead for the IPO. In October, Telenet was floated on the Euronext market.
In September, Telenet renamed its pay TV service (former CANAL+) PRIME. The offering consists of eight TV channels with premium sports and film content. Telenet lost the rights to broadcast the Belgian football competition, but compensated this with a very extensive offering of international football.
The use of wireless Internet on the Telenet hotspots tripled in 2005. By the end of 2005, Belgium had 1000 Telenet hotspots. In November, Telenet opened three Internet locations at Zaventem airport.
PCTV has since developed into a fully-fledged television and radio platform with dozens of music and theme channels. It became the first user-friendly e-video library.
Telenet introduced electronic billing.
Telenet launched FreeSurf, a basic Internet formula allowing FreePhone subscribers to use their landline to surf on the Internet for just one euro extra.
Telenet set up a fund giving structural support to social projects aimed at closing the digital divide. Special attention goes to families with children and to projects where techology helps to improve the lives of sick children. Part of this fund is My Zone, in partnership with Simon & Odil. During their stay in hospital, sick children are given a laptop and wireless Internet with which to stay in touch with their family and friends.
Telenet Solutions emerged from the integration of Codenet and Telenet Business. The business division operates from a technology-neutral perspective, with focus being on the customer’s needs rather than on the access technology.
On 25 October 2004, Liberty Media International, subsequently renamed Liberty Global, became a shareholder of Telenet by partly buying out Callahan.
As from November, Telenet offered its new Internet customers a free computer and Internet training course in partnership with Syntra. The course was a success.
Telenet continued to develop its Next Generation Network. The new ExpressNet, which virtually covers the whole of Flanders and is one of the most state-of-the-art networks in Europe, brings high-quality Internet, telephony and television to the home and the office.
In July 2004, Telenet completed telephony over the Internet protocol. Internet phoning - Voice over IP or VoIP in the jargon – is a technique for converting voice communication into data packets that are transmitted over the Internet. This works out cheaper than voice communication over a conventional landline.
The development of the wireless network continued as well. Telenet Internet customers can opt for a wireless home network, WiFi Home. Telenet operates 250 active hotspots under the name of Telenet Hotspot.
In May, Telenet Solutions and a number of staff services moved to Pegasus, a new building in Diegem (Brussels).
Telenet was the first to put a fixed-rate telephone subscription on the market, FreePhone. Customers can call landline numbers of Telenet and all other landline operators in Belgium without limitation during off-peak hours and at weekends.
The @pandora addresses are no longer distributed. New customers are given an @telenet.be address.
In July 2003, Telenet launched Games-on-Demand. At the same time, it introduced the Telenet Gaming Pack. The Pack allows the user to connect both a game console and a computer to the Internet.
In October 2003, Telenet started a test project for interactive digital television, iDTV, in 300 households. The Flanders Interactive project was a joint venture of Telenet, Interkabel and the broadcasters VRT, VMMa and VT4, with the support of the Flemish Government and the Institute for Scientific and Technological Research. This project was aimed at studying how consumers responded to the various interactive applications, such as the electronic programme guide, a mail and chat application, and Video-on-Demand. VT4 broadcasted ‘Expedition Robinson’, the first iDTV programme.
Telenet took the first step in offering mobile Internet with the takeover of the Flemish firm Sinfilo in October 2003. As a result, Telenet took the lead in the market of WiFi hotspots. By the end of 2003, Telenet had 120 hotspots.
In that same month, Codenet NV was taken over as well. As a result of this acquisition, Telenet Business doubled in size, both in terms of customer numbers and turnover. Codenet was to a great extent complementary as far as products, technologies and geographical presence are concerned. It allowed Telenet Business to offer integrated data, Internet and telephony solutions, and wireless services to large companies and the public sector, health care institutions and small and medium-sized businesses all over Belgium and Luxembourg.
In November, Telenet reached an agreement on the takeover of pay television channel Canal+Vlaanderen. This acquisition strengthened the foundations of the iDTV project. At the same time, a great deal of new TV know-how was gained.
The first PCTV test project was launched during the Christmas holiday of 2003. This project demonstrated that it was possible to watch television on the computer.
The crisis in the telecom market jeopardized the takeover of the cable network of the public-private intermunicipal corporations. In view of the adverse situation on the financial markets, Callahan faced financing problems and requested an extension of payment. A period of great uncertainty followed. Telenet also encountered financial difficulties, and in February it was forced to lay off 139 of its 932 workers.
In August 2002, the parties reached an agreement involving a reorganization of the shareholding structure. Telenet took over the ICS (Information and Communication Services) cable network of the public-private intermunicipal corporations by means of a bank loan.
By integrating ICS, the organization handling the cable operations of Electrabel and the public-private intermunicipal corporations, Telenet was now able to offer analogue TV. As a result, the core business shifted from broadband Internet and fixed-line telephone to cable TV.
During the last two quarters, sales rose sharply, with a knock-on effect for the organization as a whole. By the end of 2002, some 1,600,000 subscribers were watching analogue cable TV. Telenet also has 500,000 telephone and Internet subscribers, of whom 200,000 Internet customers.
In 2002, Telenet accommodated its customer care services in one unit: the Telenet Contact Centre. This has helped to substantially improve communication and service.
Under ‘My Telenet’, customers can easily find what they need. E-care also helps customers to solve simple problems over the website.
Telenet introduced ‘night surfing’. During off-peak hours, between midnight and 10 a.m., data transmission volume is charged at 50%.
Telenet was the first to offer do-it-yourself installation. Customers are thus able to decide for themselves how much help they want from Telenet.
Telenet was the first to launch free antivirus and anti-spam services to improve customer convenience and security.
In 2002, Telenet Business presented itself with its own identity and logo. By the end of 2002, Telenet Business had 60,000 large, medium-sized and small professional customers.
The new Telenet logo features a wink at computers, television and satisfied customers. The new style looks fresher, more grown up and more personal. The logo is in keeping with the new way of thinking and working. Telenet acquired a more reliable appearance and human face in 2002. It puts the customer first.
On 21 February, Callahan Associates became the new majority shareholder with virtually 54 percent of the shares.
On 28 June 2001, Duco Sickinghe was appointed CEO of Telenet. Chief Executive Officer Chuck Caroll became Chief Technical Officer of Kabel NRW in Germany, another cable company controlled by Callahan.
On 11 June, an important step was taken in the second phase of the takeover transaction. Callahan was given permission to take over the networks of the public-private intermunicipal corporations and undertook to digitize the Flemish TV cable, allowing the general public to join the race along the digital superhighway.
The first rumours of a takeover came up in January. The two candidates were the Dutch cable company UPC and the Dutch utility company Essent. The Flemish government responded favourably to a total sale of Telenet. The intermunicipal corporations, however, which held a 35% interest, were divided over whether or not to sell their own cable network, which was being used by Telenet. At the end of January 2000, the Franco-British telecom firm NTL entered the takeover fray.
In May, the sale of Telenet gathered momentum. The US telecom firm Callahan Associates International launched a bid of 54.2% for Telenet and 53.5% for the cable networks of the public-private intermunicipal corporations. UPC and NTL made a joint bid. Telenet accepted Callahan’s bid because this firm was able to offer the highest added value for Telenet’s ambitious growth strategy. However, the finalization of the operation came under threat from the dotcom crisis.
In September, Telenet launched a new Internet product. Using Telenet Internet XL, residential customers could now send up to 20 GB worth of data per month over the cable, with an upstream of 256 Kbps, while Telenet Internet+ allowed businesses and self-employed customers to connect up to four computers to the cable modem.
Telenet launched the Telemeter to allow customers to keep track of their transfer volume as easily as possible.
Telenet confers on a monthly basis with Pandora User Base (PUB), the consumer association which promotes the interests of Telenet Internet users. Through those meetings, Telenet aims to enhance customer satisfaction.
Sales figures saw an exponential growth. In 2000, one new staff member was hired per day on average.
The call centres of Telesales and Customer Service were moved to the business park in Mechelen-Zuid. The call centres are designed entirely to give priority to (prospective) customers who call Telenet.
In August, AT&T acquired MediaOne, which subsequently decided to dispose of all its international operations. The 25% stake was divided among the remaining three shareholders. At the same time the investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson sought a candidate to acquire the 25% interest.
It was decided in the course of 1999 to market cable Internet under the name ‘Telenet Internet’.
On 22 January 1999, Telenet began works to extend its head office in Mechelen. The second building seamlessly runs into the first and was officially opened on 16 November by former Minister-President Luc Van den Brande.
Telenet has a network of 160 dealers where the customer can ask for information and place orders.
Telenet reshuffled its management, with Chuck Caroll being appointed Chief Executive Officer.
On 1 January 1998 – the day the telecom market was liberalized – Telenet launched its first telecom products. Telenet put three packages on the market: the ‘Home’ line, the ‘Do’ line, and the ‘Young’ line.
The daily management of Telenet was in the hands of Paul Van der Spiegel, Chief Executive Officer, Clement Costers, Chief Finance and Administration Officer, and Chuck Caroll, Chief Operations Officer.
In the spring of 1998, Telenet began marketing conventional dial-up Internet access (facility for connecting to another computer over a phone line and modem) under the Pandora trademark, alongside cable Internet access.
Telenet toured the Flemish towns with a big yellow tent as part of the ‘Telenet Home Tour’. This event marked the start of sales in that region.
By 1998, Telenet telecom and broadband Internet products were available in these 14 towns: Antwerp, Beersel, Bonheiden, Edegem, Ghent, Hemiksem, Hoboken, Hove, Leuven, Mechelen, Oud-Turnhout, Tervuren, Turnhout, and Zaventem.
The 635-kilometre primary ring of the fibreglass network was completed.
The year 1997 was marked chiefly by the development of the basic infrastructure. The intermunicipal corporations had laid an extensive cable network in the nineteen sixties and seventies on the initiative of the cities and municipalities in Flanders. Telenet was now able to build further on that network. It would take another five years for all cities and municipalities in Flanders to become fully serviced.
On 17 January, Telenet began the construction of its offices on the old site of the army barracks along Liersesteenweg in Mechelen.
In August, Telenet began the commercial launch of broadband Internet over the television cable under the Pandora trademark in Bonheiden and Antwerp-Kiel.
On 14 November, Minister-President Luc van den Brande officially opened the new premises of Telenet in the presence of the Minister for Telecommunications, Elio di Rupo.
The first Telenet logo sought to emphasize customer focus. A friendly smiling face in a square refers to the number sign on the bottom right telephone key, or the link with the world of telecommunication.
At the end of December, Telenet was licensed by the BIPT to offer voice telecom services. Telenet signed an interconnection agreement with Belgacom. This means that everyone can call everyone, regardless of which operator they are subscribed to.
On 29 December, Telenet announced its rates and product packages.
On 23 September 1996, all shareholders signed the agreement finalizing the establishment of Telenet Holding. The shareholders at the time were MediaOne (25%), GIMV (20%), the intermunicipal corporations (35%) and a financial consortium (20%).
The first major tender for the infrastructure followed two months later. Offers came in from Telindus Nortel, Alcatel, Siemens, Atea, Motorola and M-Tec. Construction works for the first Telenet telephone exchange in Hoboken began in December.
The American telecom operator US West (from 1996 known as MediaOne) became the international partner and shareholder of Telenet.
The story of Telenet began in October 1994. The Flemish Government, led by Minister-President Luc Van den Brande, wanted to develop a second telecommunications network alongside Belgacom. To this end, an existing (foreign) operator would be approached to develop and manage the network in partnership with Flemish groups and the Regional Investment Company of Flanders (GIMV).