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Citymesh wants to be Belgium's fourth national mobile operator

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The B2B wireless connectivity provider says it will apply for the spectrum package reserved for a fourth operator in the upcoming 5G auction.

Citymesh has announced its intention to compete in Belgium's consumer market after being acquired by IT services provider Cegeka in December 2020.

The firm expressed confidence in being able to secure investment of about €100 million to become the country's fourth national mobile network operator.

Belgium is lagging most of the rest of Europe regarding 5G spectrum auctions. It is now in a public consultation and the auction is not expected before early 2022.

Ambition to fruition

CEO Mitch De Geest said in a statement, "Citymesh has had the ambition for years to become the fourth telecom operator.

"We have found the final pieces of the puzzle; we have national 4G and 5G spectrum, a clear vision and, together with Cegeka, a strong and complete offering to shake up the telecoms market in Belgium.’

If it wins the full spectrum package, Citymesh would have access to 700MHz, 900MHz, 1400MHz, 1800MHz and 2000MHz spectrum, on top of its existing 2600MHz and 3500MHz spectrum.

It believes this would be sufficient to maintain its B2B focus and launch a highly competitive consumer offer.

"We have the great advantage of being able to build our networks from the ground up according to the latest standards," added De Geest.

"Thanks to sufficient capacity in the 5G package, we can also use these state-of-the-art 5G networks to realise a unique offering on the consumer market".

Competition to lower prices

The telecoms regulator, the Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) recently updated a 2018 study which concluded a fourth national operator could reduce mobile data prices.

De Geest believes reserving the spectrum package for a new player "would not only be interesting in terms of mobile internet prices, but also in terms of employment and the development of Belgian talent".