Belgian operator Telenet will gradually launch its 5G mobile network from 6 December onwards. The first 5G zones are located around Leuven, Antwerp and the coast. The 5G network will be gradually expanded in the coming years. By 2025, the entire mobile network of Telenet and BASE should be expanded with 5G.
Mobile speeds equal to the fixed network
Now that more and more devices are ready, the 5G network is being rolled out in more and more locations. The speeds of 5G can range from 150 Megabytes to 1 Gigabyte per second. The mobile speeds equal those of the fixed network. Not only the higher speeds but also the stability of 5G will provide many benefits. This also allows vehicles, robots and other smart devices to use 5G.
Gradual rollout with acceleration in 2022
To launch 5G, several preparations are needed. This new technology requires new hardware and software in the operating system of the mobile network, because 5G works completely different then 3G and 4G. But the antennas on the transmission towers also need to be renewed. Telenet works together with the Finnish Nokia and the Swedish Ericsson. This network conversion requires significant investments, which means that the roll-out will be gradual.
In December, 5G coverage is still limited to a few zones around Antwerp, Leuven and the coast. In the course of 2022, this will be significantly expanded to other major Belgian cities. By 2025, the entire mobile network of Telenet and BASE must be equipped with 5G.
Preliminary spectrum license
For this initial roll-out, Telenet is using the provisional spectrum license that the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) granted in the summer of 2020. BIPT is responsible for the regulation and control of the Belgian operators. The spectrum is between 3.6 GHz and 3.8 GHz. This high frequency has a shorter range and is especially suitable for increasing the capacity of specific places. This also means that 5G coverage will often be limited to smaller areas around the cell towers.