Proximus modernizes its network and provides better coverage
Published on 01/06/2021 in Innovate
Proximus modernizes its network and sets up a new shared mobile network with Orange. This results in even better coverage, an accelerated rollout of 5G where permitted by the government and much greater capacity in Belgium.
Upgrading of antennas and pylons
When modernizing the network, only shared antennas and pylons with the associated equipment will be replaced. All antennas will be renewed and all coaxial cables will be replaced by fiber. "In order to have a network that will work for the next five to seven years, we are upgrading all equipment. The fixed connection (cable) to the core network will be maintained," said Erwin Van Hoof, Domain Manager at Proximus.
The best of two networks
For several years, Proximus was looking for a possibility to share a mobile network with another operator. The rollout of 5G is the ideal time for this. "By merging the two mobile networks, we can use the best of both. All over Belgium, we select the antennas and pylons that guarantee the best reception for our customers and we connect them to a concentrator point. From there, two separate signals depart: one to our core network and one to the core network of Orange," says Erwin Van Hoof.
All over Belgium we select the antennas and pylons that guarantee the best reception.
Erwin Van Hoof, Domain Manager at Proximus
Proximus remains the best network
Proximus will continue to define its own mobile network strategy and quality requirements, even after the joint operation, and will always focus on remaining the best network. “For example, it is possible to add additional 4G or 5G capacity to a shared mast for Proximus only.
Moreover, we can still add our own pylons, for example to serve industrial zones better or to guarantee better indoor coverage at specific locations. Companies can rest assured that we develop many of our intelligent services such as 5G with network slicing on our own core network. That remains completely separate," explains Product Manager Mobile Network Koen Coppens.
We will also use less energy; for every bit we deliver, we will be more energy-efficient.
Koen Coppens, Product Manager Mobile Network at Proximus
The new masts and equipment will accelerate the rollout of 5G. The 2G, 3G and 4G capacities are being massively increased to cope with the growing mobile traffic. "We will also use less energy; for every bit we deliver, we will be more energy-efficient." Any antennas we no longer use are removed," Koen Coppens explains.
- Progress of the works
The works will start in the second half of 2021 and will be completed zone by zone. Each zone has about 40 masts. For each mast, Proximus needs one to two days to replace or remove everything. To complete one zone takes a maximum of two weeks.
- Possible interruption
In order to guarantee reception, the works in each zone are spread out as much as possible. Work is never carried out on two neighboring pylons at the same time to make sure that neighboring pylons can cope with the temporary interruption on the pylon on which work is being carried out. New antennas are largely ground-mounted which means that the only thing to do is to install the equipment.
- Indoor coverage?
Companies with indoor coverage through a base station installation at the company premises will not experience any inconvenience during the works on the masts. That indoor installation will be adjusted after consultation. Companies that provide direct indoor coverage using a mast or an amplifier installation may experience some limited interruption. We guarantee that the fixed network, fixed telephony and TV will continue to work. The 112 number also remains accessible at all times.
- How to solve any problems during the works?
In order to minimize any local disturbances during the works, the company's Wi-Fi can be used for mobile data and the Voice over Wi-Fi functionality of compatible mobile devices can be used for mobile voice.
For the safety of the employees, work is not permitted to be carried out on masts located in the immediate vicinity of active antennas, even at night. Installation companies must also take into account the weather conditions for working at such a high altitude. That means that there is a risk of work being delayed in the event of hail, lightning or high winds. In places where disruption really has to be kept to a minimum, work will continue over the weekend.
Proximus will keep you informed
- As a customer, you will receive an email in which we announce the works. You can also register online to stay up to date on the works and their impact in your area.
- If you are located at several sites, you will receive this information for each site that may be affected, provided the addresses are known in the Proximus databases.
- Private customers and end users, such as employees who also make private calls with their mobile work phones, are informed by text message a few days before the works, if the addresses are known.