A failure to reach agreement between the various authorities that are responsible for the roll out of mobile networks in Belgium has meant that as yet no licences have been issued for the launch of large-scale 5G networks.
Nevertheless, operators test 5G in a limited geography area. Orange hopes to have 14 transmitter sites up and running by April that together will provide coverage to the 150km² port of Antwerp site.
Orange will use network infrastructure provided by the Chinees company ZTE. However, the company’s spokeswoman Annelore Marynissen is keen to stress that the collaboration between Orange and ZTE only applies to the test project at the port.
The company intends to collaborate with the part-state-owned telecom operator Proximus when 5G is rolled out to a wider area. As yet no decision has been made on who will supply the infrastructure then.
Although ZTE has been reprimanded for having traded with Iran, Orange see no problem in collaborating with the Chinees technology company “as long as it respects all the rules”.