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What is 5G ?
5G is the fifth-generation mobile communications standard for broadband cellular networks, aiming to replace 4G providing wireless internet access at a significantly (10 Times) higher speed, with an ultra-low latency, a strong reliability, an increased availability and eventually a more uniform user experience. 5G will as a consequence allow higher performance in general and improved efficiency, to connect both citizens and industries.
Mobile Connectivity in Belgium
The national broadband strategy is incorporated into a broader policy strategy "Digital Belgium", which sets five priorities:
- Digital infrastructure,
- Digital confidence and digital security,
- Digital government,
- Digital economy,
- Digital skills and jobs.
Belgium’s Federal Council of Ministers launched on 30 April 2021 (and covering the period 2022-2024) a national plan for fixed and mobile broadband, which is to eliminate the remaining white areas where high speed services are unavailable (estimated 138.000 households). Under the plan, the white areas will be mapped as a first step to facilitating the deployment of high speed services, for example by stimulating investment by operators.
In addition, a special government unit with responsibility for implementing the plan and monitoring progress will be set up, while a Broadband Competence Office will deal with all relevant issues relating to the cooperation between public and private stakeholders and support implementation of the EU Connectivity Toolbox.
The plan is built around 5 axes:
- Mapping network coverage and identifying white areas,
- Facilitating the rollout of broadband by creating a temporary national BCO that will coordinate more extensively the cooperation between public authorities and operators or investors, as well as the implementation of the EU Connectivity Toolbox,
- Encouraging investment in the white areas without fast internet,
- Creating support for fiber and 5G rollout through the web site about 5G,
- Establishing a cell Broadband within the FPS Economy.
By reducing administrative burdens and lowering roll-out costs of network operators, the government is stimulating the roll-out of new broadband technologies (fibre, LTE advanced, 5G). For example, every house that is being built or renovated in the future will need to be fibre ready. Moreover, a proactive 5G framework is to ensure Belgium is ready when the Internet-of-everything is rolled out.
The Belgian government commits to reducing administrative burdens and costs of deployment of ICT infrastructures. The strategy is under review by the new government in cooperation with a number of industry stakeholders (the Digital Minds).
More information can be found on the website of the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications.