Belgium spends €1.2 billion on long-awaited 5G auction

Belgium spends €1.2 billion on long-awaited 5G auction. The Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications auctioned 50 MHz of 700-MHz spectrum and 370 MHz of 3600-MHz spectrum – both expressly for 5G – in total (BIPT). To facilitate the continuance of 2G, 3G, and 4G services. The regulator re-auctioned frequencies in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz bands.

Belgium spends €1.2 billion on long-awaited 5G

The multi-band auction netted the Belgian government €1.2 billion.Iit threatens to shake up the mobile sector with the addition of two new competitors, bringing the total number of MNOs to five.

Citymesh is one among the entrants, having previously only offered localised private 4G and 5G services in its own. Limited spectrum, dependent on an MVNO agreement with incumbent telco Proximus for nationwide 4G coverage. Citymesh exercised a €83.34 million option to acquire 30 MHz of reserved paired spectrum split over the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz bands in March, Prior of the auction. It has recently added to its portfolio by paying €30.99 million for 50 MHz of unpaired 3600-MHz spectrum during the auction.

Citymesh said in a statement on Tuesday that it will form a joint venture with its Romanian parent company, Digi Communications. It is to share the cost of building a new statewide 4G/5G network.

The JV will provide services under both of its parents’ brands: Citymesh will cater to the B2B market, while Digi will cater to the B2C market.

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Citymesh CEO Mitch De Geest stated, “Our goal is to construct the best, highest performing 4G/5G network in the country.” “Because we’re starting from scratch, we’ll be able to take advantage of 5G’s technology breakthroughs right now and organise the deployment properly.”

Network Research Belgium (NRB), an ICT provider and systems integrator, is the other newcomer, having paid €10.97 million for 20 MHz of 3600-MHz spectrum. It will concentrate entirely on business customers, leaving the consumer sector to the competition.

NRB CEO Pascal Laffineur said

“The NRB will not begin selling individual subscriptions. “Our business is B2B, and this is [the] objective for which we will use the frequencies collected,” NRB CEO Pascal Laffineur said in a statement.

“We all know that 5G will fast become a requirement for business and government efficiency and competitiveness. As a result, it was critical for our consumers to be able to rely on a local player. That is familiar with them to jump right into this new stage of the digital revolution.”

On Friday, the NRB aims to open a 5G innovation lab. Where its team will develop new 5G use cases and applications for a variety of industries. It includes utilities, logistics, healthcare, smart cities, and public services. Citymesh/Digi and NRB will have their job cut out for them, as they will be competing against well-established companies. Like as Orange, Proximus, and Telenet, which all acquired spectrum at the auction, including 5G spectrum.

Proximus was the most expensive bidder, paying €491 million for spectrum across all five bands. It invested €122.87 million on 700-MHz spectrum with 210 MHz and €56.32 million on 3600-MHz spectrum with 100 MHz.

Proximus CEO Guillaume Boutin Said:

“With the recently acquired spectrum in the 700 and 3600 MHz bands. The benefits of 5G will finally be available to the entire Belgian population.”. “It’s safe to say that we have been a trailblazer in the adoption of 5G technology thus far. We are very excited to utilize the full potential of 5G,” said Proximus CEO Guillaume Boutin in a statement.

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Orange Belgium is thrilled as well, having spent €321.46 million across all five bands. Acquiring the same amount of 5G spectrum as Proximus.

“The spectrum secured will enable us to realize our 5G goals. And install innovative and future technologies to continue providing the finest experience to our consumers in a cost-effective and long-term manner,” stated Xavier Pichon, CEO of Orange Belgium.

Further, Orange Belgium also announced plans to phase down 3G beginning in mid-2023, with the goal of completing the transition by 2025.

Stefan Slavnicu, Orange Belgium’s chief network officer Said:

“By retiring 3G technology, we are removing outmoded equipment that takes a lot of electricity, space, and human resources to maintain,” said Stefan Slavnicu, Orange Belgium’s chief network officer. “Today, 3G data accounts for less than 2% of overall data traffic on the network.” We will have software-based, resilient, and automated networks. That are ready for future evolutions as a result of this shift.”

Meanwhile, Telenet purchased spectrum in all accessible frequency bands for a total of €264.3 million. Furthermore, Telenet, like its competitors Orange and Proximus, was awarded 100 MHz of 3600-MHz spectrum. However, it only got a total of 25.5 MHz of 700-MHz spectrum. Belgium spends €1.2 billion on long-awaited 5G auction

Due to Belgium’s well-documented aversion to loosening mobile radiation laws, the 5G auction has been a long time coming. Further, The BIPT is already organizing its second 5G auction after completing its first. It appears that you have to wait years for a 5G spectrum auction in Belgium. Then two come along at the same time.

Belgium spends €1.2 billion on long-awaited 5G auction Auction Detail

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