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5G: Flanders deserves larger financial share, minister says

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Flanders is entitled to a considerably higher share of financial income from the auctioning of 5G licences, Flemish Media Minister Benjamin Dalle told a committee of the Flemish Parliament on Thursday. 

The auction is currently blocked due to a disagreement between the federal government and the Belgian regions on how to distribute the proceeds of these auctions between them.

Dalle also expressed reservations about the results of a study by the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) on this subject.

According to this study, the value of the 5G frequency band almost quadrupled between 2017 and 2019. Its minimum price is now 177 million euros, whereas it was estimated at 46 million in 2017. The total amount of the auction would therefore increase from 680 million to 800 million euros. 

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The study was “based on a definition of a media service corresponding to the European definition of an audiovisual media service,” Dalle said. He argued that this definition did not correspond to the way powers are distributed between the federal level and the different regions in the country. The communities’ media powers are much broader than the European definition”.

Dalle therefore believes that Flanders is getting too small a share in relation to what the media represent in the total use of mobile data.

At the previous auction in 2013, the distribution of revenues between the federal and regional entities was 80%-20%. Dalle said on Thursday that Flanders was certainly entitled to “a considerably larger share”.

The Brussels Times