Belgium’s 5G spectrum auction raises 1.26 billion


New entrant Citimesh Mobile and Network Research secures 5G frequencies in Belgium process

Belgium’s 5G spectrum auction raised a total of 1.2 billion euros ($ 1.26 billion) from five bidders, according to the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT).

In a release, BIPT said it had closed the main phase of the auction, which began on June 1, with local operators Citimesh Mobile, Network Research Belgium, Orange Belgium, Proximus and Telenet Group securing the frequency for 20 years.

The regulator has auctioned 5G service frequencies in the 700 MHz and 3.6 GHz bands and 2G and 3G spectrum at 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz and 2.1 GHz.

BIPT further highlighted that the 2 1.2 billion revenue exceeded the pre-auction entry price of 468.5 million euros, resulting in consistently higher bids during multiple rounds of ascending auctions simultaneously.

The regulator says these revenues could be further boosted by the earnings of a positioning episode about those bands.

Proximus has pledged a total of 491 million euros for the new spectrum. In a separate statement, Telco said it received 20% more spectrum than all participating companies.

Orange has pledged 322 million euros for frequencies and claims that it has secured the maximum amount of 5G spectrum frequencies available, with Telenet pledging a total of 264.3 million euros.

New entrants CityMesh Mobile and Network Research Belgium have also secured 5G frequencies in the process.

“The location of the frequency block related to the generic lot has not been determined yet. Selected candidates can submit a general proposal to BIPT after July 5 in each frequency band for the location of different frequency blocks. If those candidates cannot reach an agreement or BIPT accepts the general proposal. If not, an additional round will have to be taken. During the additional round, candidates can bid extra for the preferred position for each frequency band, “said the regulator.

“Once the general bids have been accepted by BIPT and / or additional rounds are completed, the original auction of the 1,400 MHz band will begin. Only three candidates have been submitted for the auction of this frequency band and have been deemed admissible. In principle, the 1400 MHz band is suitable for additional download capabilities. “

The regulator further said that the entry price of the 1,400 MHz band is estimated at 46.5 million euros.

Proximus is the first telco to launch 5G services in Belgium. The carrier currently uses existing radio frequencies in the 2.1 GHz band and has a temporary permission to use radio frequencies in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band.

Meanwhile, Telenet gradually started setting up its 5G network in the country in December 2021.

Telenet, which is controlled by US company Liberty Global, says its 5G network is expected to reach nationwide coverage by 2025.

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