MECHELEN, December 1, 2021 - Telenet will be gradually launching its mobile 5G network as of December 6. The first 5G zones are located around Leuven, Antwerp and the coast. Customers with a 5G smartphone and a ONE, ONEup, KLIK and KING or KONG Business subscription will be the first to experience the benefits of this new technology. The other mobile products of Telenet, Telenet Business and BASE will follow in the spring of 2022. The 5G network will be gradually rolled out over the next few years. By 2025, the entire mobile network of Telenet and BASE should be expanded with 5G.
Mobile Speeds Match Fixed Network
Sales of 5G smartphones are on the rise: almost half of the smartphones sold in September 2021 support the 5G signal, which is 8 times more than last year (Gfk research, 2021). Now that more and more devices are ready for it, the new generation of mobile Internet is becoming more relevant for consumers. As of December 6, Telenet is therefore launching 5G for its mobile plans ONE, ONEup, KLIK and KING and KONG Business.
With a 5G smartphone, these customers can surf up to five times faster in zones where 5G is active. For ONE, the mobile speeds are increased up to 150 Megabits per second. The other subscriptions will be able to reach a speed of up to 1 Gigabit per second on 5G. The mobile speeds thus equal those of the fixed network. Not only the higher speeds but also the stability of 5G will ensure that applications we currently use primarily at home via Wi-Fi, such as video calling, online meetings, streaming or gaming, can be used increasingly easily while on the road.
5G will be included in these mobile plans at no additional cost. The BASE subscriptions and the other mobile plans of Telenet (WIGO, King & Kong and Telenet Mobile) and Telenet Business will follow in the spring of 2022.
Gradual Rollout With Acceleration in 2022
Various steps are needed to prepare for the launch of 5G. This new technology requires new hardware and software in the operating system of the mobile network because 5G works completely differently to 3G or 4G. But the antennas on the transmission towers also need to be updated. To this end, Telenet is working together with respectively Finnish Nokia and Swedish Ericsson. Since this network reconstruction requires significant investments, the rollout will be gradual.
In December, 5G coverage is still limited to a few zones around Antwerp, Leuven and the coast. In the course of 2022, this will be significantly expanded to the major Flemish cities and along the motorways. By 2025, the entire mobile network of Telenet and BASE should be equipped with 5G. The rollout will always take place in full compliance with the existing standards for electromagnetic radiation.
Provisional Spectrum License
For the initial rollout, Telenet is using the provisional spectrum license granted by the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) in the summer of 2020. The spectrum is granted at 3.6 GHz and 3.8 GHz. This high frequency has a shorter range and is particularly suitable for increasing the capacity of the mobile network in specific places. This also means that 5G coverage will often be limited to smaller areas around the transmission towers.
For the full rollout of 5G with its associated benefits of increased capacity and fast response times, we are waiting for the government's license auction. This is currently scheduled for the second quarter of 2022. However, in anticipation of the auction and in order to generate more coverage more rapidly, Telenet will also reuse 4G spectrum for 5G at certain locations.
Micha Berger, Chief Technology Officer Telenet: "5G is a technology that we must fully embrace today. Through 5G we can make our society hyper-connected, which will lead to the creation of many new applications that may provide an answer to today's problems. Going back in time we recall how 3G allowed us to easily download pictures on our smartphone while on the road, and how 4G enabled us to stream and watch a series of YouTube videos or a series without any problem. With 5G, all that will be possible even faster. The stability and responsiveness of 5G will be particularly noticeable in applications that require an immediate response or razor-sharp images, such as healthcare robotics, self-driving cars, autonomous drones, security cameras or virtual reality. We have already carried out various tests with cities and companies. Now we also want to gradually let our customers experience the possibilities of 5G."
5G for Business
In the business market, 5G will be a catalyst for new services. For example, thanks to smart glasses and 5G, a technician will be able to receive real time support for the repair he is working on. A construction company will be able to communicate with the architect in the construction site container through a stable and ultra-fast connection and easily share large files and maps,… The practical benefits will be the hyper-fast response times and the stability of the technology. Developing such new services requires close cooperation between different sectors.
In the coming years, this offer of concrete 5G applications is expected to grow more and more. Telenet Business will launch its 5G offering to larger business customers such as hospitals, governments, schools or logistics in the spring of 2022. In addition to the tests currently being carried out, Telenet Business will continue to focus on developing new applications through partnerships.