Belgian telecoms regulator, BIPT, plans to issue temporary spectrum licences to allow the introduction of 5G this summer.
The federal government and the provincial Länder have not been able to agree on the revenue share from the 5G spectrum auction, meaning it is unlikely to go ahead in 2020.
BIPT proposes to offer “provisional user rights” pending a political agreement on the matter.
The regulator believes spectrum between 3400 and 3800MHz is particularly important for 5G, offering the most potential for industrial applications, such as automation and e-health.
BIPT also warned that failure to roll 5G out in a timely fashion could slow investment in Belgium and cause the country to fall behind in rankings related to telecom infrastructure.
BIPT said provisional user rights would be allocated nationally for frequencies between 3600 and 3800 MHz – initially in blocks of 20 to 50 MHz per operator applying. They will expire when the official spectrum auction goes ahead.
Operators have until February 28 to apply.