A fourth mobile operator will soon become active in the Belgian telecoms market, after it bought frequencies – including for 5G – to run a mobile network, the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) announced.
Last week, it was announced that there are five candidates (Telenet, Proximus and Orange and two others) for the auction of 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G licences scheduled for June.
However, to avoid newcomers being outbid by existing players in any future auctions, they can already purchase part of the spectrum at a pre-determined price. One of the two other candidates has now done so.
The newcomer, whom BIPT does not mention by name, “has exercised the option to obtain a reserved radio spectrum package in the various radio frequency bands for both 5G and 2G, 3G and 4G applications against payment of €83,340,000,” the regulator announced in a press release on Tuesday.
“This gives this new mobile operator the opportunity to enter the Belgian market with a sufficient spectrum package,” said BIPT.
Additionally, the existing mobile operators have already reserved part of the spectrum, for €73 million each, to ensure the continuity of their current services on the mobile market.
In June, the rest of the spectrum will be auctioned to the highest bidder, in packages. At minimum prices, the sale of the radio frequency bands will fetch just under €800 million. Importantly, all five candidates – both existing operators and newcomers – will have the opportunity to bid on the other lots of the auction, in addition to the reserved spectrum.