Frequently asked questions about 5G

What is 5G?

5G is the 5th generation of mobile technologies. This new technology provides the infrastructure to shape the digital transformation of the future as it favours cloud computing and the integration of connected devices.

  • Smart cities and a digital society will only be truly possible through the deployment of 5G.
  • With 5G, you will surf even faster than today. The connection will be up to ten times faster than via existing 4G networks. At the same time the latency of your mobile network and apps will be reduced.
  • 5G is the ideal solution to support greater consumption of data (video, music, games, etc.) and more connected devices (smartphones, sensors, video cameras, etc.) without loss of quality and with more high reliability.

Obviously all these benefits will not come at once. We have now started to progressively adapt our network and it will certainly take several years to fine-tune, as has been the case with the development of previous technologies.

Today’s 5G by Proximus already offers higher speeds and improved latency but not yet the full speed experience that will eventually be possible.

  • Faster speed: In the future, 5G will eventually allow speeds that go up to 2.94 Gbit per second. It's perfect for playing and downloading ever larger videos, via your smartphone or tablet. But it will also allow you to play online & with other players as smoothly as at home.
  • Greater capacity: We are using more and more mobile data at the same time & there are more and more devices we want to connect. Thanks to 5G, you will be able to connect more devices (Internet of Things, Connected car, etc.) without any cut in connectivity. With 5G, we will also be able to offer priority and higher reliability to certain services, such as for emergency services.
  • Faster reaction times: This is very important when playing online or using your virtual reality glasses. It will image delays, which could make you sick when using the RV.  5G greatly reduces latency, making it ideal for autonomous cars, automatic drones and multiple IoT applications. Thanks to its high capacity, 5G also supports high-definition video and applications based on virtual reality.

Belgium is one of the last countries in Europe to free bandwidth for 5G. Moreover, Belgian standards for exposure to electromagnetic radiation are among the strictest in the world. These are the main reasons why we have not yet rolled out 5G across the whole of Belgium.

In anticipation we have taken several initial steps. As part of our #inspire2022 strategy, we were the first operator in Belgium to announce the rollout of 5G on 31 March 2020.

In December 2020, we started by activating some public 5G sites in the vicinity of Antwerp, Ghent and Haasrode. This will allow operators to continue to explore the full potential of 5G pending the definitive allocation of spectrum expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2021.

The latency is the reaction time or the time it takes for data to go from your device to its destination and back.

Thanks to the lower latency 5G offers, you will be able to do everything much faster and without delay, e.g.

  • Watch a live concert in real time from a distance with a hologram of the singer and his band on stage.
  • Virtual reality and latency will offer you a real shopping experience, as if you were visiting the store in person!

You can expect a speed improvement up to 30% (depending on coverage and device) and this percentage will increase in the future.

Use 5G network

You will need:

  • 5G network on your mobile: check out our network coverage map.
  • A device that is compatible with the Proximus 5G network: check out our current offer. We are continuously working with suppliers to expand our offer as quickly as possible. There are other 5G devices on the Belgian or foreign market, but at the moment the other devices are not compatible with the Proximus 5G network. 
  • A 5G mobile plan: check out our mobile plans for private or business customers.

Proximus has always been a pioneer in network development and we want to continue this tradition with the deployment of 5G. We were the first operator in Belgium to test 5G in 2016 and we were the first with a successful outdoor test in 2018.

But the deployment of 5G and its optimisation will take years, it is not something that will happen overnight. We are working hard and investing a lot to offer the 5G experience to a larger public as soon as possible. To see where 5G is already available, check out our network coverage map.

Yes, you need a specific 5G mobile plan. Check out our mobile plans for private or business customers.

You can use 5G abroad. Just check that your device is compatible and that your mobile plan allows it. If not, don't worry, you can still use the 3G & 4G networks when going abroad.

Countries where 5G is available: Arab Emirates, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Greenland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South-Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom. (*This is an update of February 2022)

You will need a device that is compatible with the Proximus 5G network. If your device is not 5G compatible, it will not be able to detect the 5G network.

Don't worry: If you have a 5G device, but you're somewhere where there's no 5G coverage, your device can connect to 2G/3G/4G network.

Furthermore, each operator in the world uses other parameters for the 5G network. Therefore, your device needs to be adapted for the country & your operator via a software update provided by the manufacturer of your device. Check out our current offer. We are continuously working with suppliers to expand our offer as quickly as possible.

With your current smartphone you can call and surf the 2G/3G/4G network. You do need a compatible device or your smartphone will not be able to detect the 5G-network

Don't worry: If you have a 5G device but you are in an area without 5G coverage then you can still surf our 2G/3G/4G network.

We are constantly working with suppliers to expand our selection of 5G compatible smartphones as quickly as possible. Go to our website and discover our current range of 5G compatible smartphones.

Our 5G smartphones

To fully enjoy the benefits that 5G offers you also need a 5G tariff plan for your business or for private use.

Mobile subscriptions with 5G

You need a specific 5G mobile tariff plan to enjoy the possibilities of 5G. We offer solutions for both private customers and businesses.

Tariffs for private customers

You can simply keep using your old SIM card. To fully enjoy the benefits of 5G you do need a compatible smartphone, 5G coverage and a 5G mobile tariff plan.

What do I need for 5G?

At home or at the office our smartphones are often connected to Wi-Fi to stream, surf or make calls. When we go outside and the modem is no longer in range, the device we are using switches to the mobile network. Our smartphones make the switch automatically so you don’t have to do anything. We mostly use Wi-Fi at home or at work and 5G is mainly useful on the go.

Currently, 5G roaming is not available if you are a tourist visiting Belgium, but you can still roam on the Proximus 3G and 4G networks.

At the start, 5G indoor coverage may be limited compared to 4G. However this will improve as during the coming years Proximus will do everything to deploy a sustainable 5G network (indoor & outdoor).

  • With 5G you can surf even faster than today on the existing 4G networks.
  • At the same time, you will notice a significant improvement in response time or latency, making the mobile network and applications even more responsive.
  • We use growing data volumes (for video, music, gaming, etc.) and a growing number of devices (smartphones, sensors, video cameras …), all of which are connected simultaneously. 5G is the solution that supports an even greater number of devices, without any loss of quality and with greater reliability.
  • 5G is also greener as less energy is used to transfer data.

No, the mobile extender will not be available or work with 5G.

Health & environment

The launch of 5G does not involve additional CO2 emissions, on the contrary.

As a technology 5G is more energy-efficient than 4G, 3G and 2G, allowing for the transfer of more data with the same power consumption and also making the technology more environment-friendly.

Moreover, 100% of Proximus’ electricity supply comes from green energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines.

More about 5G and the environment

Self-driving cars, delivery drones, remote surgery… Thanks to its higher speed and a hyperactive network, 5G will revolutionise our lives in the years to come.

In all European countries, 5G is deployed within the framework of the safety standards set by international and independent organizations. As an independent organisation, the opinion of the World Health Organization (WHO) is clear: there is no evidence to suggest that the technology on which 5G is based endangers public health.

5G operates within the same frequency range as existing 2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi networks. In the course of the last 30 years, numerous studies on the subject have not been able to establish any negative impact whatsoever.

At Proximus we address these concerns through constant research into new technologies and by keeping our customers informed and advising them on the necessary precautions.

More about 5G & health

5G will certainly be very useful for the healthcare industry. Just think of medical innovations such as remote consultations and in the future maybe remote surgery, as digital support for doctors and hospitals. 5G would allow the weakest patients to move around less frequently and stay at home as long as possible while their health parameters is retrieved remotely…

More even: internet-connected ambulances will interact with road signs to automatically plot the most efficient and fastest route to their destination. This vitally important for interventions where the patient is critical.

5G in different sectors

For this initial deployment, we used the existing antennas and frequency band. We have upgraded our technology to allow our customers to use 5G.

We haven’t changed anything in terms of transmission power and we are in compliance with the environmental standards currently in effect in each region. Therefore, there are no additional emissions as a result of this initial launch of 5G. There are no changes to report in terms of radio waves either.

5G: the Network of the future

The 5G rollout and its optimisation will take several more years. We are working hard and are investing heavily to bring the 5G experience to a wider audience as soon as possible. You can check the availability of 5G on our network range map.

Check the map

Just like bank details, telecommunications data are perfectly protected nowadays, thanks in part to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in 2018. 5G changes nothing in this respect.

Moreover, 5G has new security features and is designed with an end-to-end security approach to better protect the network and your data.

In addition, our suppliers and partners must comply with our (contractually binding) security requirements. Also, our security measures are evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure the protection of our customers and our infrastructure.

Quite the opposite. Thanks to 5G, it will be possible to connect more devices (Internet of Things, connected cars, etc.) without losing speed or connectivity interruptions.

5G will facilitate the development of smart cities and connected vehicles in several respects, leading to better mobility, better traffic control and fewer accidents.

In Copenhagen, an intelligent traffic system has been in place for some time: passers-by transmit their movements to roadside sensors via their smartphones. The sensors can thus direct cyclists and city buses by giving them priority in traffic. So with 5G, we can create a network for an intelligent transport system, with millions of interconnected sensors. The biggest development here involves the renewed infrastructure, where every sensor transforms every object - streets, lamp posts, bicycles - into an intelligent object. This is known as the Internet of Things.

With 5G, we have the ability to send massive amounts of data from A to B. This allows you to send data from sensors to the cloud much faster. There the data is processed and immediately forwarded to, say, a connected vehicle. As the number of connected cars increases, we will need a very reliable and fast network. The 5G network could provide that.

More about 5G and mobility

While not necessary 5G may prove useful. A 4G network today offers video streaming in full HD quality. 5G provides 4K resolution that shows subtle details more sharply, which is a genuine advantage in delicate operations, such as image recordings or measurements, for instance at construction sites and in hard to access locations. 5G also keeps image delays to an absolute minimum.

5G has the potential to accelerate the use of drones, autonomous vehicles or smart cameras, but also to improve and secure work processes, remote maintenance and quality checks, thus saving valuable time.

More about drones & 5G

The big difference with 4G is that 5G, thanks to its speed, guarantees a reliable network of top quality. In theory, 5G is 100 to 200 times faster and the network has no discernable latency.

For many forward-thinking companies this opens up a world of new applications or provides a solution to problems their business processes are currently facing.

With 5G Belgian companies can improve their business processes in order to boost efficiency, cut costs and introduce new business models.

In sectors such as transport and logistics 5G enables companies to track trucks in real time as delays on the network are almost completely eliminated. As a result, the loading, unloading and stock management process is much more efficient and accurate.

5G and your business

Digitalisation with 5G

No, but 5G will have an impact on the post-Covid situation. The rollout of 5G is instrumental to the recovery plan following the crisis. A study by Smith School identifies investments in digital infrastructure as one of the key elements the Belgian government can bring to bear to revitalise the economy and support businesses. Koen De Leus, Chief Economist at BNP Paribas Fortis feels that “the Belgian government must adopt a long-term approach by supporting research and development as well as efforts in terms of connectivity”.

Read more about 5G and corona

Health & environment

5G: the Network of the future

Use 5G network

What is 5G?

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