Belgium’s largest wireless operator by subscribers, Proximus, claims it has become the nation’s first telco to test 5G technology with Chinese equipment vendor Huawei. During the testing, speeds of up to 70Gbps were reached, 100 times faster than the current 4G service. With surging mobile data traffic driven by the increase in smartphones, the rising demand for mobile data and the growth of video, 5G will be better able to cope with demand and allow for faster connection speeds for customers. Geert Standaert, Chief Technology Officer at Proximus, said: ‘To be ready for the future, Proximus and Huawei are already testing 5G, the next generation mobile internet. After its pioneering work with 4G, 4G+ and LoRa, Proximus is the first to move towards 5G.’
In the lead-up to 5G, the Belgian firm will deploy 4.5G, which is capable of achieving peak commercial speeds of 450Mbps, across several locations throughout 2017. The operator also announced that it will be launching voice-over-LTE (VoLTE ) to its customers with compatible smartphones over the coming weeks.