Proximus signs agreement with NRB to acquire additional 5G spectrum

The acquisition of the 5G spectrum of NRB will support Proximus in its ambition to continue to offer the best mobile experience in Belgium for decades to come. NRB is selling its 5G license to refocus on its core business, while maintaining its commitment to offer 5G services. Both companies are currently discussing a possible wholesale agreement.

When the spectrum was auctioned in the summer of 2022, Proximus decided to invest EUR 600 million over a period of 20 years. The aim of this investment was to create the optimal conditions for Proximus to roll out 5G and offer the best mobile experience in Belgium. A recent BIPT study has demonstrated that Proximus' mobile network is already the fastest in the country today.

At the same auction, NRB, one of Belgium's leading IT services companies, also acquired part of the 5G spectrum, specifically 20 MHz in the 3600 MHz frequency band, with the aim of providing 5G services to its customers in the public and social sector, industry and biotech, energy and public utilities, financial organizations and insurance companies. Now, two years later, NRB has decided to sell its spectrum and 5G license. The Belgian company no longer wishes to roll out its own mobile network, but aims to continue offering 5G services to its customers as a mobile virtual network operator through a possible partnership with Proximus. This is currently being negotiated.

The promise of an even better 5G experience

For Proximus, the acquisition of additional 5G spectrum will further enhance the mobile experience it offers its customers. Acquiring an additional 20 MHz in the 3600 MHz band, giving it a total of 120 MHz, will enable Proximus to add more capacity when needed, greatly reducing any risk of saturation. It will also pave the way for better performance in terms of throughput and latency, as well as the security of data flows on private mobile networks.

The agreement between Proximus and NRB was submitted to the BIPT, the federal telecommunications regulator. The latter has given its green light, subject to the effective transfer of rights taking place after the publication of a new call for applications for the 3410-3430 MHz band in the Belgian Official Journal, which is due to be published very shortly. The call for applications will be accompanied by an increase in the spectrum cap from 100 MHz to 120 MHz, a necessary condition for Proximus to acquire NRB's 20 MHz, given that Proximus already has 100 MHz in this band.

The agreement with Proximus is in line with NRB's strategy of agile development to contend with a constantly changing market. For us, this decision opens up new prospects for sustainable growth as it allows us to free ourselves from the constraints imposed on 5G operators, enabling us to refocus on our core business as a value-added service integrator. As part of the redefinition of our positioning on the 5G market in Belgium, we have decided to sell our license to Proximus. We will continue offering mobile 5G services to our customers and are on track to reach an agreement with Proximus, which is among the leading telecoms operators in the Belgian market.

foto van iemand die gequote wordt

I am delighted with this agreement with NRB, which gives us even more confidence in our ability to roll out the best 5G network in Belgium. We already occupy an excellent position today thanks to our comprehensive spectrum package, an important asset for the coming decades. NRB's spectrum will help us offer our customers the best network.


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