A new operator is looking to enter the mobile broadband arena in Belgium, with b-lite having outlined plans to utilise the 130 sites it acquired from US-based Clearwire to launch LTE-based services.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2012 Clearwire Belgium was renamed as b-lite, having been sold earlier that year to TechMax, a local telecoms company owned by businessman Max Heilbron. The new owner at that date said it was aiming ‘to start a genuine revolution within the world of telecommunication,’ according to a statement, saying it hoped to launch Time Division-LTE (TD-LTE) in the capital by the end of the year. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database meanwhile notes that Clearwire won a 3.5GHz licence in Belgium, covering around 7.2 million people across 44 municipalities, in April 2004.
Now, following successful trials, the operator has confirmed that it expects to roll out services commercially, although an exact date for the launch has not been mentioned. According to Telecompaper, b-lite has highlighted the fact that it will be the first to introduce 4G services in the capital, mainly due to technical difficulties encountered by other operators; emission standards in the city are understood to be very strict, allowing just three volts per metre. Claiming to have found a solution to the problem though, b-lite is cited as saying that the infrastructure acquired from Clearwire – which was previously used for WiMAX technology – can be adapted to LTE without issues at lower emission levels.