Belgian mobile network operator Mobistar today launched its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network across all 19 municipalities within the Brussels-Capital Region, joining rival BASE Company which announced its own 4G launch in Brussels yesterday.
Mobistar has said that its new ultra-high speed mobile network will provide outdoor coverage of 96% in the areas served, while indoor coverage of the Brussels region will be 53%. Going forward, the cellco intends to ramp up its 4G rollout sequentially, but says that its LTE signal will only be switched on in a given area, once indoor coverage of >50% can be guaranteed. It has blamed the delay in commercial launch on problems related to it complying with strict emission standards in the country – among the most stringent in the world – but says that the pace of its 4G rollout is expected to pick up once regulations on emissions are eased. Mobistar’s new 4G network has been supplied by Ericsson.
As reported by CommsUpdate yesterday, BASE has begun offering commercial 4G services in ten communes in the Brussels region: Anderlecht, Auderghem, St-Agatha Berchem, Brussels city, Evere, Ganshoren, Jette, Koekelberg, Woluwe St Lambert and Woluwe St Pierre. Looking ahead, BASE has said it aims to offer full 4G in Brussels ‘as soon as possible’.
With LTE now on offer in the capital, BASE has said that its 4G network is now available in more than 650 cities, villages and communes, covering around 50% of the country’s population. Meanwhile, the operator has said its acquisition of 2×10MHz of 4G-suitable spectrum in the 800MHz band will allow it to speed up its rollout in a more cost efficient manner; as previously reported by CommsUpdate, the cellco paid EUR120 million (USD160.9 million) for the frequencies.