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    5G: Brussels left behind in Belgian rollout

    Proximus is launching 5G in Belgium on Wednesday. Credit: Pixabay

    After extended discussions, 5G is coming to Belgium on Wednesday, with an initial coverage of 30 municipalities, as Proximus announced on Tuesday.

    “5G provides an infrastructure that can cope with the exponential growth of data consumption and can support a multitude of devices to operate at the same time. With a high level of quality, of course,” said Proximus on their website. They promise “high-resolution, razor-sharp videos without any sign of delays.”

    “Because the frequency for 5G is different than 4G or 3G, you need a 5G compatible smartphone that can handle these speeds,” Proximus said. You also need a special subscription to get access to Proximus’ 5G network.

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    The 30 municipalities with 5G coverage include Zaventem (where Brussels Airport is located), Hasselt, Namur and Bruges. It notably does not include Brussels, where the radiation standards “are almost 50 times stricter” than what EU and WHO guidelines call for, according to Bianca Debaets, a member of the Brussels Parliament. Back in October, Brussels’ Minister for the Environment Alain Maron has stated the need for more certainty about the impact of 5G waves on people’s health. Debaets had voiced her concerns that the strict standards “will make us lag behind in Europe.”

    The arrival of 5G in Belgium was slowed down by political disagreements on the distribution of the proceeds. An arrangement granting provisional rights was proposed pending a political agreement.

    Jason Spinks
    The Brussels Times