Having formalised details regarding its plans to sell off spectrum in the 2.6GHz band at the end of last year, and with interested parties having been able to make submissions to participate in the sale process since June 2011, the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) has confirmed that five parties are seeking to take part in the auction. The regulator has said that it will now examine the five submissions with a view to notifying those prospective bidders on the admissibility of their offers, with the sale itself now expected to get underway on 28 November 2011. Commenting on the development, BIPT chairman Luc Hindryckx said: ‘The number of applications received illustrates the world of potential offered by fourth generation mobile services. It will contribute to meet the objectives set by the European Digital Agenda.’
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2010 a Royal Decree was issued concerning radio access in the 2500MHz-2690MHz frequency band. It stated a total of 2×70MHz would be made available for frequency division duplex (FDD) services, split into four blocks of 2×15MHz – 2505MHz-2520MHz + 2625MHz-2640MHz; 2520MHz-2535MHz + 2640MHz-2655MHz; 2535MHz-2550MHz + 2655MHz-2670MHz; 2550MHz-2565MHz + 2670MHz-2685MHz – and two blocks of 2×5MHz – 2500MHz-2505MHz + 2620MHz-2625MHz and 2565MHz-2570MHz – plus a separate allocation of 45MHz unpaired – 2575MHz-2620MHz – for time division duplex (TDD). Limits were set at a maximum of 2×20MHz of FDD spectrum or 45MHz TDD spectrum per operator. The licences will be valid for 15 years – starting from 1 July 2012 – when issued, after which they will be renewable on a five-year basis, and will not contain any specific coverage obligations.