Proximus partly stops ‘5G light’ deployment in Belgium
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    Proximus partly stops ‘5G light’ deployment in Belgium

    Credit: Belga

    Proximus has stopped the roll-out of its “5G light” technology on the territory of the municipality of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve in the Walloon-Brabant province.

    The municipality reacted badly when, at the end of last month, it appeared that 5G was being installed on its territory. There had been no prior consultation, and the municipality did not consider the timing, in the middle of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, appropriate either.

    The municipal council demanded that Proximus stop the roll-out on 31 March, and the operator has responded that it will, the municipality announced on its website. Proximus is also committed to participating in a public information session to explain the project to the citizens, it added.

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    Ottignies called on its inhabitants to participate in the public consultation of telecom watchdog BIPT on the allocation of provisional spectrum for 5G. “Many residents are worried about the health effects of the radiation, one should be able to formulate precise answers to their legitimate questions,” the municipality said.

    The rollout of this “light” 5G network, which is the first in Belgium, followed several extended discussions, as it was slowed down by political disagreements on the distribution of the proceeds.

    On 1 April, telecom provider Proximus launched its “5G light” network in 30 municipalities in Belgium. The municipalities include Ostend, Kortrijk, Bruges, Leuven, Zaventem (where Brussels Airport is located), Hasselt, Namur and Mons.

    The network does not cover Brussels, as it exceeds the Region’s radiation standards.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times