Telenet appealed to Council of State in February over 5G auction

27 Jun 2022

Telenet approached the Council of State – the country’s supreme administrative court – in late February to seek the annulment of part of the legislation behind the 5G spectrum auction which concluded last week, reports De Morgen. Telenet has confirmed it was unhappy with certain advantages offered to a potential fourth national mobile network operator, which it considers a distortion of the market. ‘Telenet is of the opinion that the provisions that reserve spectrum for (a) potential newcomer(s) are not in line with the EU framework,’ Telenet spokesperson Stefan Coenjaerts informed the Belgian publication.

It is not yet known whether Telenet will continue with the action. However, given that CEO John Porter said in a press release last week that he was ‘very satisfied’ with the outcome of the auction, this seems unlikely. A final decision will only be made once all the technicalities of the auction have been completed, which is expected to happen in the coming weeks. The office of telecoms minister Petra de Sutter does not seem particularly concerned. ‘We are still waiting. It often happens in the telecom sector that procedures are started and then stopped again,’ it said in a statement.

Telecoms regulator the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) announced last week that the main phase of the auction of new 5G spectrum (700MHz and 3600MHz) and existing 2G and 3G frequencies (900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz) had concluded after three weeks of bidding, raising more than EUR1.202 billion (USD1.264 billion). In addition to the incumbent mobile operators Orange Belgium, Proximus and Telenet, two new entrants – Citymesh Mobile (a joint venture between B2B wireless connectivity provider Citymesh and Romania’s Digi Communications) and IT services provider Network Research Belgium (NRB) – also succeeded in securing part of the available spectrum.

Belgium, Telenet (incl. BASE)