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Citymesh pleased with modular approach of 5G auction

25/10/2021

Only a limited part of the 5G spectrum will be reserved for a fourth telecom player: this decision was made by the Federal Council of Ministers on Thursday. This approach lowers the threshold for companies that, for example, only want to focus on a specific market segment. "We leave the market the possibility to compete, to lower prices for consumers and to create innovation in a specific market segment," says Minister of Telecommunications Petra De Sutter. This decision is a reflection of the energetic character of the telecom market.

ROYAL DECREES FOR AUCTION OF 5G SPECTRUM HAVE BEEN APPROVED

On October 21, the Council of Ministers approved the royal decrees for the auction of 5G spectrum. One of the main points is that the auction will be modular. This means that the spectrum can be split up between different companies. According to Minister De Sutter, this will benefit consumers and address concerns about radiation levels and employment in the sector. The 5G auction is likely to take place by the end of 2022.

LESS PREDICTABLE, MORE OPPORTUNITIES

The 5G auction and the arrival of a fourth telecom operator are closely linked. 'The section of spectrum that we initially wanted to reserve for a potential new fourth telecom player will be limited,' said Minister De Sutter. This will allow more competition on the telecoms market, because it will not only attract companies that have their eye on the largest part of the spectrum. The decision also means that a possible fourth player can choose to focus exclusively on the B2B market by purchasing only part of the 5G spectrum.

A B2B TELECOM PLAYER IS A POSSIBILITY

According to Mitch De Geest, CEO of Citymesh, the federal government's decision is a step in the right direction. We are pleased with the flexibility that the Council of Ministers has introduced into the auction. This offers the necessary opportunities for both the business and the consumer market'. He also points out that a modular approach ensures that telecoms remains a dynamic market. The auction can now go either way: there is room for a player who takes on the entire package, but there may just as well be a telecom operator that focuses primarily on the business market.

If Citymesh becomes Belgium's fourth telecom operator, the spectrum allocated would give the company the opportunity to expand its current services. Even with a focus on business customers, it is important to note that the boundaries between B2B and the consumer market are blurring. For example, employees may use the mobile network on company sites and switch to a public network outside of them.

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