July 24, 2018 / 9:03 AM / 9 months ago

Belgium plans mobile frequency auction, looking for fourth operator

BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) - Belgium is planning a mobile frequency auction for late 2019, and wants to encourage the entry of a fourth mobile operator to compete with Proximus , Orange Belgium and Telenet’s BASE, the government said on Tuesday.

The country will hold an auction to renew frequency bands in the 900, 1800 and 2100 megahertz range, and also auction new frequencies in the 700, 1400 and 3600 megahertz range.

The frequencies are set to be auctioned in late 2019 for a duration of 20 years.

“The conditions are such that, in case there is interest, a fourth operator can enter the market on good terms, which allow for a level playing field with existing operators,” the Belgian ministry for telecoms and the digital agenda said in a statement.

“The possible entry of a fourth operator will allow for lower prices, more innovation and a faster roll out of 5G,” the ministry said, referring to a new faster mobile broadband technology. (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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