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Proximus partners with NRB for acquisition of more 5G spectrum

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In Short:

Belgian operator Proximus has signed an agreement with IT services company NRB to acquire extra 5G spectrum. NRB is selling its license to focus on core business but will still offer 5G services. Proximus plans to invest EUR 600 million over 20 years. Both companies are discussing a partnership. The deal has been approved by the regulator, with Proximus set to have a total of 120 MHz spectrum, enhancing its mobile experience.

Proximus Inks Deal with NRB to Acquire Additional 5G Spectrum
Belgian operator Proximus has announced that it has signed an agreement with Belgian IT services company NRB to acquire an additional 20 MHz of 5G spectrum in the 3600 MHz band. NRB is selling its 5G license to refocus on its core business while maintaining its commitment to offer 5G services, Proximus said on Thursday. Both companies are currently discussing a possible wholesale agreement.

Spectrum Acquisition and Expansion

Proximus mentioned that during the spectrum auction in the summer of 2022, it had planned to invest EUR 600 million over 20 years. At the same auction, NRB acquired a portion of the 5G spectrum with plans to cater to various sectors.

Now, two years later, NRB has decided to sell its spectrum and 5G license. The Belgian company is no longer interested in deploying its own mobile network but aims to continue offering 5G services as a mobile virtual network operator through a potential partnership with Proximus. Negotiations for this partnership are ongoing.

For Proximus, acquiring additional 5G spectrum will enhance the mobile experience for its customers. The additional 20 MHz in the 3600 MHz band, bringing Proximus total to 120 MHz, will provide extra capacity as needed.

Regulatory Approval and Future Plans

It is reported that the federal telecommunications regulator BIPT has approved the agreement between Proximus and NRB, subject to the effective transfer of rights after a new call for applications for the 3410-3430 MHz band in the Belgian Official Journal.

The upcoming call for applications will also see an increase in the spectrum cap from 100 MHz to 120 MHz. This is a necessary step for Proximus to acquire NRB’s 20 MHz, as Proximus already holds 100 MHz in this band.

NRB’s Decision

In response to the deal, NRB stated, “The agreement with Proximus aligns with NRB’s agile development strategy to adapt to market changes. This decision opens up new opportunities for sustainable growth as it allows us to focus on our core business as a value-added service integrator.”

NRB added, “As we redefine our presence in the 5G market in Belgium, we have opted to sell our license to Proximus. We will continue to provide mobile 5G services to our customers and are working towards finalizing an agreement with Proximus.”

Proximus emphasized that this spectrum acquisition will enable them to develop the best 5G network in Belgium.

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