The Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) has announced that its sale of spectrum in the 800MHz band has now been concluded, with all three bidders walking away with frequencies. According to the regulator, Belgacom, which offers mobile services under the Proximus banner, Mobistar and BASE Company each bid the minimum amount for their respective concessions, EUR120 million (USD160.9 million), in return for which they will gain access to 2×10MHz of 4G-suitable spectrum in the 800MHz band. The BIPT has said that it will assign the new concessions once it has ‘finished the full administrative procedure’, while it has also confirmed that the licences will be valid for a 20 year period. Mobistar’s concession (811MHz-821MHz/852MHz-862MHz) includes an obligation to cover at least 98% of the total population in those municipalities where no operator has satisfactory 3G coverage yet, within three years of the licence award. Meanwhile, as per the terms of all three concessions, operators will be required to ‘have access to services and applications provided on public data transmission networks, especially on the Internet with a download speed of at least 3 Mbps’.
Commenting on the development, Jack Hamande, chairman of the BIPT Council, said: ‘The development of the digital economy is essential to the economic growth and prosperity. With the result of the 4G auction another important step is taken to have all citizens enjoy the digital economy and so to reach the goal of the 2020 digital agenda. I am looking forward to seeing consumers make use of the numerous new applications made possible by 4G.’