Belgian telecommunications operator Proximus has activated its first full-fledged 5G network in Durbuy, Wallonia, also known as the "smallest city in the world."
The Walloon city will be the first to benefit from the 'real' version of 5G technology, as opposed to the '5G lite' already available in other cities in Wallonia.
Proximus has operated limited versions of 5G, using old frequency bands, in Wallonia since 2020 but they have since been disconnected in many places. However, in June the telecom operator, in collaboration with La Petite Merveille, a company owned by Belgian billionaire Marc Coucke, announced a partnership to strengthen the connectivity of the city.
Despite the fact that the relevant broadcast standards and regulations for the technology have still not been adopted in Wallonia, Proximus has decided to push ahead and activate the 5G connection, albeit exclusively in the city centre of Durbuy. There are no plans to enable 5G in any other city, the operator stated.
Proximus claims that the Durbuy 5G connection will operate with reduced power, in line with current standards. "We are still hoping for an evolution of the standards as soon as possible in order to allow a wider and more efficient deployment of 5G in Wallonia," the company noted.
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This will be the first 'real' version 5G in Wallonia, with the region having recently acquired 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.5 gigahertz radio band. While other areas in Wallonia claim to already have full 5G, such as Charleroi airport and Frasnes-lez-Anvaing, these areas use old bands and do not run at full power.
In Flanders, broadcast standards are not as strict as in Wallonia and Brussels. Proximus has already rolled out real 5G coverage, at full power, in several major cities across the Flemish-speaking region.