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January 31, 2020
Network Sharing Blocked - 4G & 5G Costs To Sky Rocket

• Competition body suspends Orange/Proximus RAN-sharing deal

• Seems broadly in favour of tie-up, but acknowledges potential impact on competition

• Telenet could struggle to compete in 5G world if its rivals share rollout burden

Belgium’s competition regulator has ordered Proximus and Orange to suspend the implementation of their planned network-sharing initiative following a complaint from rival Telenet, but will allow the telcos to continue with preparatory work.

Telenet, which petitioned the authorities to block the deal on competition grounds, has welcomed the move as “a step in the right direction,” but urged the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) and telecoms regulator the Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications (BIPT) to “carry out a further thorough investigation into the joint venture.” Meanwhile, the parties involved in the deal have acknowledged the BCA’s self-styled interim measure, but have not commented further. The BCA itself said a full suspension of the deal pending the outcome of Telenet’s complaint would be disproportionate, but noted that it does see a potential impact on competition.

Network Sharing Blocked - 4G & 5G Costs To Sky Rocket

It would appear that a shot has been fired across the bows of Belgian based wireless operators.

The cold, hard and bleak reality is that deploying 5G infrastructure will be the most expensive yet of any cellular infrastructure.

You can read our posts on this topic that explain all the details here :

Our European Union wireless operators had better take head of this development; as they have been frantically doing network infrastructure sharing deals in 5G like crazy to help share the costs.

If the EU authorities start to ban this, prices will quadruple overnight.

What is a Wireless Operator to do? They need to start to think outside of the box and figure out how to reduce costs without reducing prices (smartphone hardware & plans).

Network Sharing Blocked - 4G & 5G Costs To Sky Rocket