The past few months, Proximus became the first Belgian operator to start deploying the super-fast 4.5G network. Today, 4.5G is already available in certain parts of seven Belgian cities. Thanks to Proximus’ continued investments, 4.5G coverage is expected to increase significantly in the coming weeks and months.
Superior user experience
In February, Proximus became the first Belgian operator to announce the roll-out of 4.5G in Charleroi, Antwerp and Ghent. With these technological innovations, Proximus wants to continue investing in better and faster networks, in a time of spectacular mobile data-traffic growth and increasing customer demand for super-fast, high-performance mobile Internet, anytime, anywhere.
The implementation of 4.5G is possible thanks to advanced radio-transmission techniques and the combination of different frequency bands, for which Proximus received a license. Initial tests show that 4.5G will lead to a spectacular improvement in the user experience, with maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 900 Mbps. By comparison, 4G and 4G+ can offer maximum download speeds of up to 150 Mbps and 225 Mbps respectively.
The roll-out of 4.5G responds to the real needs of customers, who want to use mobile data ever more and ever faster. Indeed, data usage in the EU is expected to increase ten-fold by 2022 according to experts, partly due to a very strong demand for mobile data and more intensive use of video. The 4.5G roll-out holds a promising future for new broadband-intensive applications such as 2K, 4K HD and even 360° video, virtual and augmented reality, etc. Moreover, the improved network will boost the customer experience, even in areas with a high traffic density.
4.5G roll-out fully underway in seven Belgian cities
Some five months after the announcement of its launch, 4.5G has been successfully rolled out in parts of Aalst, Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Leuven, Nieuwpoort and Sint-Niklaas. Not infrequently, in areas with high business activity. Indeed, large parts of the port of Antwerp and a number of industrial zones in the rest of the country already have 4.5G.
And 4.5G is already making a difference for college and university students. It is by no coincidence that a number of zones where 4.5G is already available are located in areas with a high student population. For the start of the academic year in September, coverage in such zones will increase further, so students can look forward to an ultra-fast surfing experience on their mobile devices when they return to their student rooms or campus. The existing 3G and 4G networks will continue to function optimally, with mobile reception between 96.4% and 97.8% indoors and up to 99.9% outdoors.
Close collaboration with Sony, Samsung and Huawei
To ensure the smooth roll-out of 4.5G, Proximus is collaborating closely with Sony, Samsung and Huawei. The latter provided the different components needed for building the network infrastructure. Thanks to these close partnerships, Proximus has ensured that the 4.5G network is completely compatible with three existing devices sold or distributed by Proximus: the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, the Samsung Galaxy S8, and the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
Users of other devices which are not compatible with all the functionalities of the 4.5G network will still reap some benefit from the investment. In the coming months, they too will be able to enjoy faster, higher-performance Internet access. With the roll-out of 4.5G, in anticipation of the arrival of 5G technology in Belgium, Proximus once again takes the lead, in order to offer its customers the best possible user experience.
Proximus thus adds a new chapter to its longstanding tradition of mobile innovations, driven by the customer’s user experience. Already back in 1994, Proximus became a pioneer in Belgium by launching the very first mobile network. Ten years later, this was followed by the 3G network, and in 2014 Proximus was the first to launch 4G technology. In 2015, the even faster 4G+ was rolled out in major cities, and in November of last year Proximus became the first Belgian operator to start testing 5G technology, reaching speeds of up to 70 Gbps.
Together with a series of other innovations, this unstoppable development will lead to a drastic increase in download speeds. In this way, Proximus wants to address the changing needs of customers but also to continue investing in strengthening and expanding its existing networks and in the further roll-out of new technologies for high-speed mobile Internet.