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5G, what is it?

Gradually, 5G is coming to Belgium, but do you know what this technology entails? And will the introduction of 5G affect your smartphone or SIM card? Find out below what will - or will not - change for you.

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.

More info about 5G advantages

  • 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.

Discover 5G

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.

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.

Impact on our health & the environment

New technology undoubtedly raises a number of questions, that's normal. And despite the great potential of 5G, far from everyone is convinced. For example, concerns were raised about our health and the environment. Read some honest and reassuring answers to these questions below.

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.

Our future with 5G

5G is the technology of the future. It will provide innovation in the fields of medicine, communication, entertainment and mobility. Which world of possibilities will it open up? Find out in the overview below.

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

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