Proximus and Orange Belgium have signed a deal that lays the foundations for a mobile access sharing agreement by the end of the year. The companies hope the collaboration will enable them to meet increasing customer demand for mobile network quality and deeper indoor coverage, while also allowing a faster and more comprehensive 5G rollout in Belgium. Subject to the final agreement, the shared mobile access network will be planned, built and operated by a new 50-50 owned joint venture, in line with common practices in several other EU markets. The companies expect to have 20% more mobile sites than with their current existing separate radio access networks.
Orange Belgium expects the agreement to deliver cumulative opex (mainly BTS rental costs as well as energy, repair and maintenance, transmission costs) and capex (mostly from 5G network rollout) savings of EUR300 million (USD338 million) over ten years. The operator expects to spend EUR130 million over the next three years on initial set-up costs related to decommissioning and enablements.