The implementation of 5G communication services is on the agenda of the Belgian federal government and the Belgian national regulatory authority (i.e. the Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications or BIPT).
Three specific frequency bands should be made available for the roll-out of the 5G technology in Belgium in the coming months: the 700 MHz, the 3400-3800 MHz and the 1,5 GHz frequency bands:
- the federal government has adopted draft regulations that set out the conditions for obtaining and exercising rights of use for these frequency bands (hereafter referred to as the “5G draft regulations”). The process of adopting these regulations is still ongoing and the said obligations are therefore not yet applicable;
- Provided that the 5G draft regulations are adopted in time in their final version, the national regulatory authority plans to organise an auction procedure for each of the three frequency bands in the course of 2019 (probably in autumn 2019);
- However, due to a disagreement between the federal authority and the regional authorities on the distribution of the revenues generated by the auctioning of the frequency bands, it is possible that the auction procedure will be delayed until 2020 (thus delaying the roll-out of the 5G technology until the end of 2020 or even 2021).
In the longer term, the BIPT also plans to auction other frequency bands for the roll-out of the 5G technology (such as the 26 GHz frequency band which could be made available as from 2021).