Citymesh CEO Mitch De Geest.

In addition to Telenet, Proximus and Orange, Citymesh is the fourth player on the Belgian telecom market. The Bruges company, part of the Limburg IT group Cegeka, obtained the necessary frequencies for this at the 5G auction of the government. “This is a crack at the door for lower telecom prices in our country”, Telecom Minister Petra De Sutter (Green) responds with satisfaction.

“The Key Stage of the Radio Spectrum Auction (the 5G spectrum for superfast mobile internet, ed.) was terminated with a proceeds of more than 1.2 billion euros,” BIPT reported in a press release on Tuesday morning. “Five operators (Citymesh, NRB, Orange, Proximus and Telenet, ed.) took part in the auction and were each able to acquire a part of the radio spectrum with which they will determine the mobile telecom landscape in our country for the next twenty years.”

Of the newcomers, only Citymesh has selected the option of having a spectrum package that is sufficient to enter the entire Belgian market, subject to a payment of more than 83 million euros. The West Flemish company did this together with Digi, a major European telecom player that is already active in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Romania. Together they are now starting a joint venture to build a joint 4G/5G infrastructure, in which Citymesh will focus on the business market and Digi on the consumer market.

“High quality at affordable prices”

Their specific plans will not be announced until later. “But we are confident that we can quickly offer the network and high quality services at very affordable prices.” said Valentin Popoviciu, Vice President of Digi.

“Our goal is to build the best, most performing 4G/5G network in the country. Because we start from a blank sheet, we have the opportunity to use the technological progress of 5G from the start and we can optimally plan the rollout,” says Mitch De Geest, CEO of Citymesh.

“In addition, it is also our ambition to realize a totally innovative telecom offer for the corporate market”, continues De Geest. “From simple mobile subscriptions to complex private networks. With the possibilities that 5G offers us, there are many opportunities for a player with a focus on industrial telecom.”

Citymesh CEO Mitch De Geest. © if

“Door ajar for lower telecom prices”

According to the Minister of Telecommunications Petra De Sutter (Green), the new players in the telecom landscape are a good thing for consumers. “More competition could be the key to lower telecom rates. Prices in Belgium for surfing the internet, calling and watching TV are now among the highest in Europe,” it said in a press release on Tuesday.

In total, the 5G auction brought in about 1.2 billion euros for the federal government, a lot more than the expected 800 million. “We can use the extra income to make a digital catch-up,” says De Sutter. “Belgium is still lagging behind in Europe when it comes to 5G. We use part of the revenue to catch up with neighboring countries by subsidizing 5G applications. In this way we accelerate the roll-out and stimulate technological innovation in Belgium.”

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