Proximus plans €1.3 bn Capex mainly for 5G and fiber

Proximus Group has revealed its Capex, target for 5G network roll outs and digital transformation efforts in 2022.
Proximus Capex 2022Proximus Group said its Capex reached €1.305 billion, excluding spectrum and football rights, in 2022. The increase of €101 million was driven by Proximus’ investments in its Gigabit networks in Belgium.

Fiber related investments accounted for 35 percent of the total Capex. Proximus increased its fiber footprint by 57 percent in 2022 to 1,282,000 premises, representing a coverage of over 21 percent for Belgium. By end-2022, Proximus was deploying fiber in 93 cities and municipalities in Belgium.

Proximus Group’s Capex in Q4 totaled €464 million over the fourth quarter of 2022, €3 million below the comparable period in 2021.

The group confirmed that Mobile network (RAN) consolidation between Proximus and Orange Belgium is ongoing, led by the created joint-operation Mwingz with Capex incurring following the pace of the mobile site consolidation.

Proximus said customer-related Capex increased, covering customer equipment and activation costs. Proximus, in line with its strategy, increased its investments in digitalization and IT transformation. The telecom operator did not reveal the outcome of its investment in digital transformation initiatives during the year.

Proximus spent €618 million for buying 285 MHz of mobile spectrum, with licenses valid for the next 18-20 years.

For 2023, revenue is expected to grow by 1 percent to 3 percent; EBITDA of around –3 percent. Capex is set to reach its peak at around €1.3 billion in 2023, primarily due to Fiber Capex to pass, connect and activate Fiber customers and investments in mobile for the mobile network consolidation and 5G roll-out. Inflation impacts on Capex will be managed through CapEx optimization and efficiency programs, Proximus said.

Guillaume Boutin, CEO of Proximus, said in its earnings report: “The significant part of the available spectrum acquired in June last year will allow us to maintain our mobile leadership position for the next 20 years, with the strong ambition to cover 100 percent of Belgium with 5G by 2025.”

“Our roll-out of the Gigabit Fiber network in Belgium has reached over 21 percent of Belgian premises, extending our lead over the competition. Over the past years, we onboarded over 250,000 customers on to our fiber network. Our 10 Gbps Fiber product is currently available in 5 cities.”