Proximus has activated 5G technology at several locations near the cities of Antwerp, Ghent and Haasrode, it announced on Thursday.
In March, the telecommunications company had launched a "light" version of the fast mobile technology, but this is "the real 5G," according to the company.
The light version launched earlier this year was a limited form on the frequencies used for 3G and 4G, but the company is now operating 5G on the spectrum for which it acquired provisional rights pending a final auction.
This auction has been delayed due to a political disagreement over the distribution of profits.
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"We are using the provisional rights in the 3.6 to 3.8 GHz frequency band," Proximus spokesperson Fabrice Gansbeke said. "This is part of the spectrum that will eventually be used for 5G. The network speed in this band is higher."
According to Gansbeke, speeds of up to 800 Mbps are now possible with an adapted 5G smartphone. By way of comparison, an average fixed internet subscription offers a maximum of 50 or 100 Mbps.
For Proximus, the opportunities are opening up, particularly in the business world. "5G is the only mobile network technology that can meet the future needs of society. It not only offers ultra-fast mobile connectivity, but also limits the network response time to a few milliseconds," Gansbeke said.
"This enables unprecedented reliability, which is crucial for applications that require immediate response, such as healthcare, manufacturing, autonomous transportation, robotics and virtual reality," he added.
In Wallonia, Proximus cut its 5G network in most places earlier this year, following local protests and public concern about the health impact of this technology, but the company is now awaiting the conclusions of a group of Walloon experts.
Stricter radiation standards in both Brussels and Wallonia are making it difficult to launch 5G in the other parts of the country as well, according to Proximus.
The Brussels Times