Belgium’s lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Representatives, yesterday approved the prerequisite bill for launching the country’s planned multi-band 3G/4G/5G spectrum licence auction, reports 7sur7.be. The draft law ‘relating to electronic communications’ sets technical conditions for participants and licence terms, finalised in late May by the Consultation Committee comprising federal and regional government representatives. The legislative package – consisting of five royal decrees proposed by telecoms minister Petra De Sutter and draft amendments to the Law on Electronic Communications – remains subject to approval by the Council of State.
The long-delayed auction of 20-year multi-band frequency licences is expected to be held by spring 2022, with draft plans leaving room for a fourth mobile network operator (MNO) to compete against Proximus, Telenet and Orange, although no decision has yet been reached regarding whether to reserve spectrum for a new entrant. The Consultation Committee is expected to make a final decision on the matter before the summer recess. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, B2B wireless connectivity provider Citymesh aims to bid for a full spectrum package in the auction, while IT service company Cegeka – current holder of a temporary 3.6GHz-3.8GHz 5G licence alongside the three incumbent MNOs – has also indicated it will bid.