Belgium’s 5G spectrum auction raised a total of €1.2 billion from five bidders, almost €500 million more than expected, as Proximus emerged as the biggest spender.

The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) stated it had closed the main phase of the auction, which began on 1 June, with all five permitted bidders securing frequencies for a period of 20 years.

It auctioned frequencies for 5G in the 700MHz and 3600MHz bands, and 2G and 3G spectrum in 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz.

Proximus committed a total of €491 million, obtaining 20 per cent more spectrum than all participating companies, it noted in a separate statement.

Orange bid €322 million and claimed it had obtained the maximum amount of 5G spectrum available, with third major operator Telenet splashing out €264.3 million.

Belgium also auctioned 5G airwaves to two new entrants, Citymesh Mobile and Network Research Belgium, as part of a government goal to step up competition.

BIPT explained the proceeds exceeded the entry price set before the start of the process by €468.5 million as a result of higher bids.

The regulator added it also plans to auction spectrum in the 14000MHz band.