Proximus and Orange Belgium announced a network sharing agreement designed to improve coverage in the country, and allow for a faster rollout of 5G technology.
In a statement, the companies said Dominique Leroy, CEO of Proximus, and Orange Belgium counterpart Michael Trabbia signed a term sheet for the agreement, which is aimed at enabling both companies to meet “the increasing customer demand for mobile network quality and deeper indoor coverage”.
Subject to a final agreement, the companies plan to build a shared mobile access network, operated by a 50:50-owned joint venture. The companies will, however, create separate products and services and compete at retail, enterprise and wholesale levels.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, the operators said the tie-up will also allow a faster and more comprehensive 5G rollout in the country, with plans to bring relevant benefits for end-users, while preserving a competitive environment.
As well as 5G, the partnership will cover 2G, 3G and 4G. The consolidated number of mobile sites is expected to be 20 per cent higher compared with each operator’s current radio access networks.
While sharing the RAN, both companies said they will continue to have full control over spectrum assets and operate their core networks independently.
Trabbia noted network sharing was a trend in Europe which benefits customers, “as it enables more efficient investments to cope with the increasing data consumption”.
“The timing of this mobile access network sharing agreement is important as it will allow us to accelerate 5G rollout, while bringing significant environmental benefits by reducing the combined energy consumption by 20 per cent,” he added.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back