Belgian B2B wireless connectivity provider Citymesh has announced it plans to apply for the entire spectrum package reserved for a fourth operator in the upcoming 5G auction, confirming its ambition to compete in the consumer market. The company, which was acquired by IT services provider Cegeka in December 2020, is confident it can secure the investment of around EUR100 million (USD122 million) to become a fully-fledged national mobile network operator (MNO). ‘Citymesh has had the ambition for years to become the fourth telecom operator,’ says CEO Mitch De Geest. ‘We have found the final pieces of the puzzle; we have national 4G and 5G spectrum, a clear vision and, together with Cegeka, a strong and complete offering to shake up the telecoms market in Belgium.’
Winning the full spectrum package would give Citymesh access to 700MHz, 900MHz, 1400MHz, 1800MHz and 2000MHz spectrum, on top of its existing 2600MHz and 3500MHz spectrum. It believes this would be sufficient to maintain its B2B focus and also realise a very competitive B2C offering. ‘We have the great advantage of being able to build our networks from the ground up according to the latest standards,’ says De Geest. ‘Thanks to sufficient capacity in the 5G package, we can also use these state-of-the-art 5G networks to realise a unique offering on the consumer market’, he adds.
The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) recently updated a 2018 study which concluded a fourth national operator could reduce mobile data prices. De Geest believes reserving the spectrum package for a new player ‘would not only be interesting in terms of mobile internet prices, but also in terms of employment and the development of Belgian talent.’