June 21, 2021

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5G will be a catalyst for the digital and green transition in Belgium

Over the next 20 years, 5G technology will define the way Belgium intends to shape its digital transformation … and the environment.

In the coming days, Belgium will decide the concrete conditions for 5G frequency bands were auctioned. It is an important strategic choice that must condition over the next twenty years the way Belgium intends to shape its digital transformation … and the environment.

Bart Stockers.

In fact, 5G is also one of the technologies that can accelerate our business Environmental transformation.

Firstly, because the network will consume ten times less power, but above all because applications enabled by 5G will contribute to this. Reducing the carbon footprint In other sectors, some are considered energy dense.

This is exactly what a recent study by the University of Zurich found, explaining and confirming what many players have been up to for a long time.


This is an important choice Belgium is close to making because it is about building its technological arsenal at the heart of its digit and environmental transformation.

Therefore, it is an important choice that Belgium is preparing to take, because it is related to its formation Technological arsenal At the heart of its digitization, essential for its competitiveness, and for environmental transformation, is the great challenge of our time.

Balanced policy

Faced with these strategic options, we believe that 5G and the environment, far from conflict, are indeed complementary … if we embrace Balanced policy. As part of the deployment of 5G, we believe this balance can and should be achieved by considering four basic dimensions.

The first is to ensure that options that accelerate environmental transformation are systematically preferred. If 5G frequency bands were auctioned, that means Do not disproportionately prefer the arrival of new operators in Belgium.

In fact, if the underlying mechanism of the auction is to activate competition, the arrival of the newcomers will in fact mean the deployment of new mobile telecommunications infrastructure in Belgium, which will necessarily lead to a sharp increase in energy consumption. These increases will then cancel out the positive impacts of 5G use cases and slow down the positive dynamic towards environmental transformation.


Identifying elements and information is also the cornerstone of 5G success.

But in order to guarantee the constitution of a An innovation environment conducive to investments. To do so, it is imperative that we provide economic players with a stable and predictable environment. In particular, this means providing all operators with equal conditions and a safe, stable and predictable legal and economic environment.

Appointed and informed

Third, you should also choose the options that you prefer High quality communication networks. This means putting in place an optimal regulatory framework. This also means an artificial desaturation of the use of waves by either Outside the emission standards Compared with international standards (which take into account the precautionary principle). This also means, since the electromagnetic spectrum is a scarce resource, the increase in the active operators in Belgium will inevitably increase Network congestion (A phenomenon already observed by BIPT).

Finally, it requires sharing of understanding and Strong technology legitimacy on the part of companies and citizens. In this sense, we must welcome the decision taken by the Federal Government, at the instigation of its Minister de Suter, to create a “platform for knowledge and learning”. Appointed and informed It is also the cornerstone of 5G’s success.

Let’s hope Belgium puts these options at the center of its discussions in order to make 5G one of the solutions that could be mobilized to build a more digital and greener world.

Bart Stockers
CEO of Uyghuria

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