Some eight months after the official launch of its ‘5G light’ services, Belgian full-service telecoms operator Proximus has announced the activation of even faster 5G technology at a selection of sites in the Antwerp, Ghent and Hassrode area, in a move it claims is ‘another step towards delivering the full promise of 5G and allowing businesses across different industries to unlock their full potential’. The operator is using provisional user rights for frequencies in the 3.6GHz-3.8GHz band, allocated by the regulator in July, to deliver speeds up to twice as fast as its existing LTE-A network. According to Anne-Sophie Lotgering, Proximus’ Chief Enterprise Market Officer: ‘This new phase in the deployment of our 5G network is a powerful signal for many of our customers that Proximus continues to invest in next-generation technologies to build the best Gigabit network for Belgium, both fixed and mobile.’
Proximus launched what it called ‘5G light’ services in 30 communes in Flanders and Wallonia on 1 April, using its existing infrastructure and spectrum to offer customers with 5G-compatible handsets improved performance and speeds up to 30% faster than LTE-A. The cellco was subsequently forced to suspend deployment in the Wallonia region, however, after local authorities complained about a lack of prior consultation amid unease regarding potential health risks. The network now covers more than 100 sites in 62 cities and municipalities, mainly in Flanders.