The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) has finally published the call for candidates for the upcoming spectrum auction, which will see the Belgian operators

Today, the BIPT has announced that it is inviting parties to submit their candidacies for participation in the upcoming spectrum auction, which is set to take place in June later this year. 
Spectrum will be allocated in the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,400 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, and the 3,600 MHz frequency bands, with the licences on offer being valid for the following 20 years.
The BIPT has also published details surrounding the terms and conditions that will accompany the spectrum licences. This includes coverage obligations for some of the spectrum bands, as well as specifications surrounding spectrum that will be reserved for a new mobile operator to enter the market. 
Coverage stipulations for 5G will include covering 70% of the Belgian population with 5G after one year, increasing to 99.5 after two years, and 99.8% by six years.
Candidates will have until February 16 to submit their applications to participate to the BIPT.
This announcement has been a long time coming. Discussions surrounding the auction had first began back in 2019, but by the summer of 2020, the process had still not been finalised due to both the onset of the coronavirus and conflicts surrounding the reserve spectrum for the new market entrant. This left the BIPT little choice but to issue temporary 5G spectrum licences to the operators so that they could launch the next-generation services, or else run the risk of falling drastically behind their international neighbours when it came to 5G.
As a result, Belgium’s three national operators have all launched 5G services in various forms, but have had little certainty about their long term prospects.

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