Belgium has finally concluded its first 5G spectrum auction after missing the two European deadlines for the 5G roll-out set in 2020.
The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) closed the main phase of the radio spectrum auction that started on June 1, 2022. The new 5G spectrum — 700 MHz, 3600 MHz — and the existing 2G and 3G radio spectrum — 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2100 MHz — generated proceeds worth 1,202,192,400 euros.
Five operators, namely Citymesh Mobile, Network Research Belgium, Orange Belgium, Proximus, and Telenet Group participated in the auction, “thus shaping our country’s mobile telecom landscape for the next 20 years,” stated BIPT.
It is worth noting that in July 2020, the BIPT granted temporary 5G user rights in the 3600-3800 MHz radio frequency band to Orange, Proximus, and Telenet.
Proximus, the first operator in Belgium to launch the 5G network in December 2020, has the largest bid for the 700 MHz band (122,870,000 euros) and the 3600 MHz band (56,320,000 euros). For the 5G low-band spectrum, Orange Belgium (122,860,000 euros) was the second biggest bidder. Both top bidders garnered 10 MHz duplexes each, with Telenet Group and new operator Citymesh Mobile securing 5 MHz duplexes each.
Moreover, for the mid-band spectrum, Proximus, Telenet Group (55,800,000 euros), and Orange Belgium (54,850,000) are guaranteed 100 MHz each, while Citymesh Mobile (30,990,000 euros) locked 50 MHz and new entrant Network Research Belgium reserved 20 MHz for 10,970,000 euros.
As a result of the successive higher bids during the simultaneous multiple-round auction, the proceeds of 1.2 billion euros turned out to exceed the entry price by 468.5 million euros. Accordingly, the 1400 MHz band auction will follow suit on a date yet to be announced.