Belgium’s regional and federal governments again failed to reach a decision on how to distribute income from the sale of 5G spectrum licences, which its telecoms minister Philippe De Backer warned would slow rollout of the technology, De Tijd reported.

At a previous auction, 80 per cent of revenue went to the federal level, with the country’s regional states getting the rest. Now, states are demanding a bigger cut. A meeting was also held last month to come up with a consensus, but yielded a similar outcome.

The auction is expected to rake in as much as €680 million, but with the consultative committee unable to reach a decision and delays expected due to elections in May, it is unlikely an auction will be held this year or even next, the publication stated, adding 5G is unlikely to become available before 2021.

De Backer said the lack of consensus was “regrettable” and “makes us lose time for the deployment of 5G”.

In comparison, Germany’s 5G spectrum auction is well underway, attracting €332 million worth of leading bids by the end of its opening day.

Meanwhile the European Commission earlier this week unveiled a plan recommending the European Union’s countries adopt a common approach to security of future 5G networks.