Belgian mobile download speed increased by 17.6Mbit/s in 2020

The mobile download speed in Belgium increased by 17.6Mbit/s last year, reports the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications. The increase is striking, because the roll-out of the 5G network has been postponed in Belgium.

The regulator publishes an annual report on the mobile telecom market in Belgium. BIPT writes in the report that the download speed of mobile internet in 2020 was on average 80.6Mbit/s, compared to 63Mbit/s in 2019.

However, the use of mobile internet has grown less rapidly. In 2019, the use of mobile internet still grew by 59 percent, in 2020 this was only 34 percent. According to BIPT, this can be explained by the corona pandemic, which meant that people were at home more.

Income and investments did decline in 2020. Due to a decrease in SMS and roaming traffic, 149 million euros less was converted. Fewer telephones were also sold. According to the telecom watchdog, the declining investments in the mobile market are due to the postponement of the roll-out of the 5G network. In 2020, 19 percent less was invested than in the previous year.

In February it was announced that BIPT will distribute temporary 5G licenses among telecom providers, in order to be able to start the rollout of 5G. The temporary licenses are granted because there is still no insight into the frequency auctions in Belgium.

The intention is that the auction of the frequencies will now start in 2022. If successful, according to the Belgian Minister of Telecommunications, 70 percent of Belgium could have access to 5G by 2023.

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