Belgian full-service telecoms operator Proximus has announced it will launch Belgium’s first commercial 5G mobile services on 1 April, using its existing spectrum holdings and infrastructure to provide coverage in more than 30 communes across the country. To accompany the launch, the company has created the ‘Mobilus 5G unlimited’ tariff priced EUR49.99 (USD55.27), as well as enterprise and wholesale offers, while it is also marketing the OPPO Find X2 pro 5G-enabled handset.
The 5G launch was just one of a number of announcements made during the presentation of Proximus’s new ‘#inspire2022’ strategic vision at its Capital Markets Day. The company also outlined plans to significantly accelerate its Gigabit fibre network deployment programme, passing 800,000 more homes than its initial plans envisaged, in order to connect 2.4 million homes by 2025 rather than the original target of 2030. The operator highlighted the fibre rollout will require increased CAPEX investment totalling as much as EUR1.3 billion a year until 2025, which will be funded through an increase in Proximus’s total debt by up to EUR600 million, asset disposals which are expected to raise as much as EUR700 million, and strategic partnerships to optimise investment. The company also revealed it intends to cut its annual gross dividend to a minimum of EUR1.20 per share between 2020 and 2022.
Proximus CEO Guillaume Boutin commented: ‘In the next couple of years, we will massively invest to roll out the next generation of networks at an industrial pace, structurally transform our operating model and accelerate the pace of customer innovation.’