The pros and cons of digital life:6 out of 10 Belgians don’t want to go back to life before corona



  • Virtual happy hour will disappear indefinitely as more people plan to only use video call for work and to stay in touch with grandparents
  • People are struggling with screen time and the rise of cybercrime
  • To support customers to the fullest during these changing times, Telenet will launch ONE: a new internet connection offer for customers that covers you inside as well as outside, without volume limits, with the possibility to add a television product, and internet security is always included.

With vaccines and looser measures on the horizon, Belgium finally dares to dream of a future in which physical contact is once again part of daily life. Telenet asked 1065 Belgians how they see online and offline life coming together after the pandemic. Even though everyone is looking forward to face-to-face contact, 60% of the respondents stated that online connectivity will continue to shape their daily lives because it saves time and is practical. People want to decide for themselves when and where they are online. At the same time, they’re looking for support to navigate their increasingly digital life. One in two respondents confirms they sometimes worry about screen time (which increases to 62% when it comes to their children’s online time). 43% stated they feel increasingly less safe due to reports about cybercrime, such as phishing. Thus, in order to fully support customers, Telenet will launch ONE: a new offer that provides people with complete online freedom and security without volume limits and with a choice to add a television product.

Video calling: only for work and checking in with grandparents

We have been dreaming about life after COVID-19 for quite some time now. We all miss activities that give us energy, boost our creativity, and are just plain fun, such as: spontaneous meetups with friends, grandparents hugging their grandkids, team-building activities with colleagues, and going to festivals, among other things.

During lockdown, we tried to recreate them as much as possible through virtual apps: we held digital meetings and seminars, practiced our sports online, and had virtual drinks with friends. More than one year after the outbreak of the pandemic, 74% of respondents are happy to eliminate ‘virtual happy hour’ after Covid times.

The same trend appears with other social activities and hobbies. There are only two activities that people want to keep using video calls for: work (85%) and to chat with grandchildren (83%). Additionally, 97% of Belgians want to keep going on walks and bike rides with family and friends. Moreover, 75% want to have meetings or catch-up sessions with colleagues while walking.

​Offline is our core, online makes life easier

After Covid, we mostly want to keep the practical advantages of our digital society. 64% of the respondents stated that working remotely saves time. Three out of four (74%) want to keep working from home after the crisis, to avoid travel time. Nearly one in two says working from home makes for a better work-life balance. 45% states that it was easier to stay up to date with their loved ones through digital applications. One in five grandparents kept closer contact with their grandkids.

The digital life we built up over the last year will not completely be thrown overboard, but we’re searching for the right balance. 60% of Belgians are fine with online and offline life colliding more than ever before.

​ONE: a new way of connecting in a changing world.

With life becoming more and more digital, we expect more digital freedom as well. We want the possibility to connect on our own terms: where we want, when we want, and as much as we need. Telenet wants to support its customers in this need by changing its ‘one size fits all’ offer to a modular approach in which customers choose just what they need. This new offer is called ONE.

Firstly, ONE brings an end to the limits that held customers back as it is now one connection for a fixed price. Both fixed and mobile usage are covered, without any volume restrictions. This means the difference between WIFI and 4G disappears and makes room for one continuous internet experience, whether you’re inside or outside. The customer is left with only 3 decisions: speed (150 or 1000 Mbps at home, 30 Mbps or more on the go); the amount family members that need a SIM card (this determines the price), and the choice to add a television product (2 options: an all-in with the well-known Telenet TV-box or a streaming-only option with the new flow-app).

For every customer, there’s one extra data-SIM included in ONE. This can be used in a mobile device like a tablet or the mini modem. This small device gives you the opportunity to create a personal hotspot with your own network anywhere and connect up to 10 devices.

​Inside or outside: Does it matter?

Dieter Nieuwdorp, Vice President at Telenet: “2020 was the year of the digital awakening. We’re more online now than ever. The traffic on our network peaked and records were broken several times. More than half of the Belgian population confirms they now realize how important being connected is in their day-to-day life.”

“If our customers don’t make a difference between at home or outside anymore, why should we?”

“Our customers developed a lot of new digital habits, like remote working, streaming, and video calling. We anticipate that they’ll want to take those habits outside as well. That’s why we need to eliminate barriers between WIFI and 4G, as well as the fear of running into data limits or clicking on a link because of possible phishing attempts. Therefore, we decided to have no more volume limits in ONE, for both fixed and mobile connections. And internet security will be included by default.

This way we create one internet connection that covers customers at home as well as outside, giving them the freedom to continue their digital habits anywhere and completely secure. They also have the freedom to add extra services, such as television.”

​The freedom to be constantly connected comes with its own set of challenges

Research institute Imec recently published its Digimeter which shows the digital acceleration of the past year. Professor Dr. Lieven De Marez confirms that people are looking for more freedom in defining their connectivity needs, as well as their entertainment needs.

Meanwhile, there seems to be a great gap between being able to constantly connect and understanding how to handle a life in which we're always connected. Professor Dr. Lieven De Marez illustrates this with a few specific paradoxes: “We’re able to connect more than ever. Yet, a growing number of people struggle with disconnecting and defining screen time. Finding this balance is becoming a major societal challenge.”

Clinical psychologist and professor Dr. Elke Van Hoof is convinced we have to actively engage if we want to find the right balance in this changing digital world. Being constantly connected will only lead to a better quality of life when we’re handling it consciously and intelligently.

“If we want to achieve a better quality of life, we need to face a few challenges head-on. Always being connected is harmful to us. In every way. We have to simultaneous learn new skills such as disconnecting.

“We cannot assume we’ll be able to disconnect naturally. The technology is too overwhelming. We’ll have to actively learn this skill.”

A new subject in school to help guide children. A component in the onboarding trajectories of companies, to show how technology supports the crew in the best way possible. We cannot assume we’ll pick up the habit of disconnecting automatically. The technology is too overwhelming for us to have any kind of natural resistance. We’ll have to actively find a way to cope. Hybrid working also rewards other skills, e.g., creativity in to help your company innovate; the ability to connect your colleagues and strengthen bonds between each other and critical thinking to rule out any non-relevant information.”

​Online security is the highest priority.

Professor De Marez emphasizes the need for support when it comes to internet security: “We’re more informed than ever but discerning the truth from the fake news is an immense struggle for many. How do I know for sure if this is truly an email from my bank or a phishing attempt? People are looking for support and reliable partners to guide them.”

Telenet is responding to this need for digital guidance by providing ‘Safesurf’, a default feature in every internet product. This anti-phishing software is installed on the router and protects every device connected to the home network. When a customer clicks on a phishing link in an email or pop-up, a warning will appear on their screen.

ONEup (the larger offer) includes Safespot+. This pack secures every device and blocks viruses, phishing and ransomware, both at home and on the go. Next to security, the Safespot-app provides a few interesting features such as a bedtime alert, an internet pause button and content filters. This gives the customers better control over their family’s digital habits.

​ONE and ONEup: available on April 26

ONE and ONEup will launch on April 26th and replace the current bundle offers of WIGO and YUGO. WIGO customers for whom ONE or ONEup are a better offer regarding price or features will be proactively contacted and transferred. Other customers will keep their current offers.


About Telenet SA

As a provider of entertainment and telecommunication services in Belgium, Telenet Group is always looking for the perfect experience in the digital world for its customers. Under the brand name Telenet, the company focuses on offering digital television, high-speed Internet and fixed and mobile telephony services to residential customers in Flanders and Brussels.

Under the brand name BASE, it supplies mobile telephony in Belgium. The Telenet Business department serves the business market in Belgium and Luxembourg with connectivity, hosting and security solutions. More than 3,000 employees have one aim in mind: making living and working easier and more pleasant.

Telenet Group is part of Telenet Group Holding NV and is a 100% owned subsidiary of Liberty Global. Liberty Global is one of the world’s leading converged video, broadband and communications companies, innovating and empowering people in six countries across Europe to make the most of the digital revolution. For more information, we refer to

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