Brussels is on the verge of a major technological leap with the upcoming deployment of high-speed 5G mobile internet technology throughout the region, commencing in September. “While other regions in the country have already embraced the advancements of 5G technology, Brussels had been lagging due to regulatory challenges”, explained tech expert Sheras Fernandes.
Compared to other EU nations and even other regions of Belgium, Brussels has experienced a delayed rollout of 5G, leaving smartphone users with limited access to the fastest network connections. However, this is about to change as the city has finalized the regulatory framework necessary to activate 5G antennas.
The deployment of 5G antennas is expected to revolutionise the digital landscape in Brussels.Sheras Fernandes, tech expert
“Long overdue, the capital has finally put in place the final regulatory framework to activate 5G antennas”, Aurélie Czekalski, a Brussels MP, wrote on Twitter. After a prolonged period of more than six months, the legislative deliberations have culminated in a favorable outcome for telecoms operators.
Now, network operators, such as Telenet-Base, Orange, and Proximus, can apply for licenses to operate 5G antennas. Applications are ready to be submitted, with an expected response time of around eight weeks. Once approved, the existing 4G antennas will undergo a straightforward technical upgrade to accommodate 5G capabilities, a process estimated to take only a few days. As a result, the first 5G antennas in Brussels are projected to become operational in September.
5G technology offers impressive advantages, such as faster and more reliable internet connection. With projected connection speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G, it will alleviate the strain on the current network that occasionally experiences crashes during peak hours. According to tech expert Sheras Fernandes, this could mean “enabling a wide range of new applications and services that were previously not possible with slower networks”, for the population of the Belgian capital. Fernandes goes further into adding that the deployment of 5G anthenas “is expected to enhance various sectors, including telecommunications, healthcare, transportation, and education, among others”.
The deployment will be gradual, starting with the most densely populated areas of the city. However, it may take up to a year to cover the entire capital. Brussels has particularly strict radiation standards for telecom applications, thus additional antennas will need to be placed to meet the heightened demand while conforming with the regulated 14.5 volt per meter that each antenna can transmit.
Access to 5G in Brussels was previously halted in 2019 due to health concerns voiced by former Brussels Minister of Environment, Céline Fremault. “The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt,” she emphasized at the time, concerning the need to prioritize citizen health and safety.