Belgium’s Minister of Telecoms, Petra de Sutter, has announced the Federal Council of Ministers has approved the royal decrees which pave the way for an auction of 5G spectrum, which is now expected to take place in Q2 2022.
Explaining the final auction terms take into account the concerns expressed within the Concertation Committee (a multilateral body of federal and regional government ministers), a complementary study on the potential impact of a fourth mobile operator, a public consultation and the opinion of the Council of State, Minister De Sutter said the process is now ‘in the home stretch’.
The spectrum previously reserved for a potential fourth mobile network operator (MNO) has been reduced, allowing B2B providers to bid for a share of the available frequencies. The minister believes this addresses concerns surrounding the impact of a new entrant, such as the effect on investment, jobs and radiation levels, while also creating additional competition to lower costs and encourage innovation.
The text will now be submitted to a vote in the Concertation Committee on 24 November. De Sutter will then work with regulator the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) to organise the auction planned for 2Q 2022.