New entrants Citymesh Mobile and Network Research Belgium secured 5G frequencies in the 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 stated it had closed the main phase of the auction, which began on June 1, with local operators Citymesh Mobile, Network Research Belgium, Orange Belgium, Proximus and Telenet Group securing frequencies for a period of 20 years.
The regulator auctioned frequencies for 5G services in the 700 MHz and 3.6 GHz bands, and 2G and 3G spectrum in 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz and 2.1 GHz.
BIPT also highlighted that the proceeds of 1.2 billion euro turned out to exceed the entry price set before the start of the auction by 468.5 million euro as a result of the successively higher bids during the simultaneous multiple-round ascending auction.
The regulator said that these proceeds may be further increased by the proceeds of a positioning phase regarding those bands.
Proximus committed to pay a total of 491 million euros for the new spectrum. In a separate statement, the telco said it had obtained 20% more spectrum than all participating companies.
Orange committed to pay 322 million euros for the frequencies and claimed it had secured the maximum amount of the available 5G spectrum frequencies, while Telenet committed to pay a total of 264.3 million euros.
New entrants Citymesh Mobile and Network Research Belgium also secured 5G frequencies in the process.
“The position of the frequency blocks corresponding to the generic lots has not been determined yet. The selected candidates can submit to the BIPT no later than July 5 a common proposal per frequency band for the positioning of the various frequency blocks. If those candidates are unable to reach an agreement or if the BIPT does not accept the common proposal, an extra round will have to take place. During the extra round the candidates can make additional bids for the preferred positions for each frequency band,” the regulator said.
“After the common proposals have been accepted by the BIPT and/or the extra round is finished, the main auction for the 1,400 MHz band will start. For the auction of this frequency band only three candidacies have been submitted and deemed admissible. In principle the 1400 MHz band is rather suited to have extra download capacity.”
The regulator also said that the entry price for the 1,400 MHz band are estimated at 46.5 million euro.
Proximus was 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 permit to use radio frequencies in the 3.6-3.8 GHz band.
Meanwhile, Telenet started the gradual deployment of its 5G network in the country in December 2021.
Telenet, which is controlled by U.S. company Liberty Global, said that its 5G network is expected to reach nationwide coverage by 2025.
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