Orange Belgium activated 5G in Antwerp. Orange customers with a compatible subscription and device have 5G access starting today. 5G will “shortly” be deployed in Ghent, Bruges, Leuven and several coastal cities.
Orange Belgium is operating on a temporary license. Belgium’s 5G frequencies have yet to be auctioned. The auction will take place in June. Until then, major Belgian providers are entitled to a temporary spectrum block between 3.6 GHz and 3.8 GHz. Proximus, Telenet, Orange, Cegeka and Entropia received permission.
This spectrum is only effective for short waves and distances. Low frequencies are required for national coverage. These will not be auctioned until June. Only then will a nationwide network become possible.
Orange is late
The BIPT (Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications) regulates 5G licenses in Belgium. Belgian providers received their temporary spectrum block from the BIPT. Providers have been allowed to activate 5G since August 1, 2020. Orange’s rollout is relatively late. Proximus’ network was activated as early as 2020. Telenet followed in December 2021.
According to Orange Belgium, 5G connections in Antwerp are three times faster than 4G. The network is available for customers with a 5G Orange subscription and 5G device. Although the organization says that 5G will shortly be deployed in Ghent, Bruges, Leuven and coastal cities, it does not disclose specific dates.