A study published by the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) has found the coverage and quality of Belgium’s fixed and mobile broadband networks remains very good, even though the country continues to lag behind other European countries in terms of 5G and fibre deployments. Nevertheless, the telecom regulator believes last year’s 5G spectrum auction and accelerated fibre rollout investment will quickly close this gap.
The study confirmed 99.2% of the country’s population has access to fixed broadband download speeds of 30Mbps and 97.2% to speeds of 100Mbps, although there exists a disparity between the north of the country, where the great majority of customers can potentially subscribe to packages supporting downlink of 1Gbps, and the less densely populated south. In terms of underserved areas, some 38,000 households (including 31,000 in the southern Wallonia region) are still unable to access download speeds of 30Mbps. This figure is expected to fall steadily thanks to government-subsidised fibre deployment initiatives. In terms of mobile networks, the report found Belgium benefits from very good quality 4G coverage, with 99.9% of households enjoying good indoor and 97.3% ‘deep indoor’ coverage, although as with fixed broadband, the south is less well served.
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