By Stuart Thomson
Liberty Global-backed Belgian service provider Telenet has secured frequencies in the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, and 3500 MHz bands to operate next-generation mobile services in an auction process for a total of €264.3 million(US$278.33 million).
Telenet said it will use this spectrum to ensure continuity of service for its existing networks, and to continue the expansion of its 5G network, whose commercial rollout began in December for the Telenet brand and in April 2022 for the BASE brand and for Telenet Business.
In March, the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) allocated reserved spectrum in the 900 MHz (2×5 MHz), 1800 MHz (2×15 MHz) and 2100 MHz (2×10 MHz) frequency bands to Telenet for €73 million.
The frequencies obtained through the latest auction procedure, which ran through June and ended yesterday, have now been added to these frequencies.
The company will be able to use the frequencies for a period of 20 years, except for the frequencies in the 3500 MHz band, which will expire on 6 May 2040.
With the spectrum obtained in the 700, 900 and 3500 MHz frequency bands, Telenet will be able to expand its 5G network.
The positioning within each band of the acquired spectrum must now be determined, and later there will be an auction of spectrum in the 1400 MHz band.
CEO Telenet, John Porter said: ” I am very happy with the outcome of this spectrum auction. We have been able to acquire as much as 200 MHz of spectrum for a very competitive price. This result is a key milestone in the 5G journey. Over the past few years, we have not just been sitting back and waiting for the 5G spectrum auctions: we used the BIPT test licence to test 5G use cases with partners in various domains and were able to start our commercial rollout in December 2021 with the Telenet brand, in March with Telenet Business and last April with BASE, thanks to BIPT’s temporary 5G licence. At the same time, we continued to roll-out and actively prepare our network day after day. Thanks to the newly acquired frequencies, we now enter a new phase of expansion of our 5G network, which will in the end provide higher speeds, capacity, lower latency and more stability to consumers as well as businesses on the whole Belgian territory”.