New mobile operator exercises option for reserved spectrum

29 Mar 2022

Telecoms regulator the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) has announced that one of the two unnamed newcomers which have qualified to participate in June’s spectrum auction has exercised the option to obtain a reserved radio spectrum package in the various frequency bands for both 5G and 2G, 3G and 4G applications against payment of EUR83.34 million (USD91.44 million). The package, comprising a total of 2×30MHz spectrum in the 700MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands, is intended to provide the new operator with sufficient frequency resources to enter the market as a fully-fledged mobile player.

The three existing MNOs – Orange Belgium, Proximus and Telenet – have also exercised the option to obtain the radio spectrum reserved for them against payment of EUR73 million each, thereby ensuring continuity of their current mobile services. Each operator will be assigned one 5MHz duplex block in the 880MHz-915MHz/925MHz-960MHz range, three lots of 2×5MHz in the 1710MHz-1785MHz/1805MHz-1880MHz range and two 5MHz duplex frequency blocks in the 1920MHz-1980MHz/2110MHz-2170MHz band.

In addition to the reserved spectrum, the existing operators and the newcomers will have the possibility to bid on the remaining lots in the auction for which they are a candidate, totalling 640MHz for a minimal amount of EUR477 million.