Proximus Expands 5G Spectrum with Acquisition from NRB

Proximus, a leading telecoms operator in Belgium, has finalized an agreement with NRB to acquire additional 5G spectrum. This acquisition signifies Proximus’ commitment to delivering top-tier mobile services to its customers for years to come.
Proximus fiber businessNRB, a prominent IT services provider, has opted to sell its 5G license as part of a strategic refocusing effort while remaining dedicated to facilitating 5G services. The deal between the two companies also entails ongoing discussions regarding a potential wholesale agreement.

The roots of this development trace back to the 2022 spectrum auction, during which Proximus made a substantial investment of EUR 600 million over two decades. This investment was earmarked to fortify Proximus’ capacity to deploy 5G technology and ensure Belgium’s premier mobile experience. A recent study by BIPT highlighted Proximus’ mobile network as the fastest in the country.

Similarly, at the same auction, NRB secured a portion of the 5G spectrum, specifically 20 MHz within the 3600 MHz frequency band. The aim was to cater to clients in sectors such as public services, industry, biotech, energy, finance, and insurance. However, NRB’s subsequent decision to divest its spectrum and license reflects a shift away from developing its mobile network, opting instead to explore potential partnerships, potentially with Proximus, to continue offering 5G services.

For Proximus, the acquisition of an additional 20 MHz in the 3600 MHz band, bringing its total to 120 MHz, promises an enhanced mobile experience. This expanded spectrum allocation will enable Proximus to augment capacity, mitigate saturation risks, and optimize throughput, latency, and data security on private mobile networks.

The agreement between Proximus and NRB has received approval from BIPT, contingent upon the effective transfer of rights following the publication of a new call for spectrum applications. This upcoming call for applications, set to be published imminently in the Belgian Official Journal, will also entail an increase in the spectrum cap from 100 MHz to 120 MHz. This adjustment is crucial for Proximus to acquire NRB’s 20 MHz, given its existing 100 MHz allocation in the same band.