5G is still in its infancy. This is evident once again, because in Belgium there will probably only be ‘almost complete’ coverage in three years’ time. At least, that is the goal of telecom provider Orange. The rollout of 5G is not going smoothly, both in Belgium and in the Netherlands. Due to decisions, regulations and permits, among other things, it will take some time before the maximum potential of 5G can be realized.
5G by the end of 2025
Most residents of Belgium can expect to be able to use mobile 5G by the end of 2025. Provider Orange wants the coverage of 5G in Belgium to be 90 percent by then.
Within the next year and a year, most Belgian consumers will not have to expect 5G coverage: Orange’s goal is to have 40 percent coverage by the end of 2023.
Telecom operator Orange recently opened its second 5G Lab in Belgium. The above statements were made during this opening. For the time being, 5G from Orange will only be available in Flanders, as decisions still have to be made in Wallonia.
According to Karine Dussert-Sarthe, vice president of range, Belgium is lagging behind in the roll-out of 5G compared to other countries where Orange is active. In addition, there is also a backlog with the Netherlands.
Current situation of 5G in the Netherlands
Mobile provider T-Mobile states on its website that it offers ‘national 5G coverage’, which means that 90% of all residents of the Netherlands live in T-Mobile’s 5G coverage area.
In terms of coverage, the Netherlands is therefore ahead of Belgium. However, this does not mean that the roll-out of 5G in the Netherlands is going very smoothly. Currently, Dutch providers do not offer ‘fast 5G’. Mobile internet via 5G is of course just fast, but currently not faster than 4G. This is due to the current frequency band that has been made available for 5G.
Really faster 5G, with a clear difference with 4G, is only possible when the 3.5 GHz frequency band is made available for mobile internet. The rollout of this band has now been delayed for more than a year: the faster variant of 5G will probably not be available to residents of the Netherlands until December 2023. This is currently not possible, because satellite service provider Inmarsat uses the 3.5 GHz band. If 5G is rolled out on this, this will collide.