Belgian operator Telenet has deployed more than 850 5G mobile sites covering almost 260 municipalities since launching its 5G network in December 2021. Providing an update on the rollout, Telenet confirmed the vast majority of sites had been activated in and around major cities in the Flanders region, such as Antwerp, Ghent, Genk, Leuven, Mechelen, Aalst, Hasselt, Kortrijk and Lokeren, as well as the coastal areas. Population coverage in these cities now ranges from 55% to 80%, rising to almost 85% in some areas of the Belgian coast. Due to the delay in adopting emission standards for electromagnetic waves, 5G has not yet been launched in Brussels and has only been partially activated in Wallonia, notably in areas around Charleroi airport and in parts of Mons and Ath. The operator noted, however, that the recent adoption of new norms by the two regions should enable the extension its 5G coverage very soon.
Luk Bruynseels, Chief Product & Technology Officer at Telenet, commented: ‘We are delighted with the progress we have made in extending the coverage of our 5G network in Belgium. We plan to invest a total of around EUR300 million (USD329 million) by 2025 in deploying this technology and want to double the number of sites in the country this year alone. Although we had to concentrate our efforts on Flanders at first, initiating coverage in Wallonia and Brussels is now imminent and we will first focus on the areas where we need the most additional capacity in these two regions. We still expect to make the majority of our 5G investments by the end of 2025.’
Telenet also reported that daily 5G data usage growth increased by an average of 50% per month over the past year, compared to only 30% per month for 4G at the same stage of its launch. 5G technology currently accounts for about 4% of total data traffic, compared to 94% for 4G and less than 2% for 2G and 3G. The operator also highlighted that around 30% of the phones using its network today are 5G compatible, up from only 22% a year ago.
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