Barcelona Mobile World Congress: operation of 5G in Belgium by 2020 requires collaboration

Europe hopes to have two metropolises per country ready to roll out 5G technology by 2020.

Huawei and Ericsson have unanimously stated that in order to achieve the 5G technology ambition in specific Belgian cities, all interested parties must agree on the action required.

Both groups, who have met the Minister for Telecommunications and the Digital Agenda, Alexander De Croo, during his visit to the Barcelona Mobile World Congress, are currently working on developing such a network in Belgium.

The major challenge lays within the capacity to disregard the resistance of the various actors to both working differently and collaboration. This includes the regions, which each have their own regulations as regards emission standards or installing masts. This is the view of Saskia Van Uffelen, CEO of Ericsson Belux.

However, it is an opinion shared by Jeffrey De Wolf, the Vice-chairman of Huawei Technologies Belgium. He says that if we wish to be an innovative country, we need a regulatory framework to make the development and implementation of 5G possible.

He warns that given certain skills in the field have a regional basis, it is necessary to progress this project in a coordinated way, at risk of making the life of individual operators even more complicated.

He is finding the political world to be somewhat receptive to these remarks. He is sensing a genuine political will and Belgium not to be bottom of the class. This was, in particular, the case with 4G in Brussels.

The Director of Huawei Belgium says, “All indications are good and we must give concrete expression to them by getting along with each other. We have a maximum of two years to reach our destination.” He predicts that 5G will start to be operational across Belgium in 2019.

The author: Michel THEYS

Michel Theys, a Belgian native, began his career as a civil servant, serving the public for several decades. After retirement, he shifted gears to follow his passion for journalism. With a background in public administration, Theys brought a unique perspective to his reporting. His insightful articles, covering a wide array of topics, swiftly gained recognition. Today, Michel Theys is a respected journalist known for his balanced and thoughtful reporting in the Belgian media landscape.

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