The Belgian federal government has opened a call for EUR11.2 million (USD12.2 million) in funding to improve mobile network coverage along railway lines in sparsely populated areas. The subsidy is intended to enable mobile network operators and towercos to upgrade existing GSM-R pylons to support 5G. The funds are earmarked for three options, namely: the upgrade of 5G-ready GSM-R pylons (80% of the available budget); the deployment of additional antennas on existing pylons (18%); and the redirection of antennas on existing pylons towards railway lines (2%). Telecoms operators are already required to provide mobile broadband coverage of the 15 busiest railway routes linking major towns and cities, but there is no such obligation regarding more minor lines. Applications must be submitted by 6 September 2023.

Original article can be seen at: