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Orange confirms 5G mobile internet for Brussels in 2020
Brussels will be the first city in Belgium to enjoy ultra-fast 5G mobile internet access, telecoms operator Orange has confirmed.
The first tests will be carried out next year ahead of a full commercial launch in 2020, Orange Belgium managing director Michel Trabbia told a trade show in Paris this week.
The European Commission had asked each member state to pick a pilot city for the launch of 5G. Earlier this year, telecoms federation Agoria warned that Brussels could be left out because of its "overly strict" emissions standards and high municipal taxes on antennas.
In July, the Brussels region signed a memorandum of understanding with telecoms operators, in which they committed to find the most efficient way possible of introducing 5G while limiting residents' exposure to further electro-magnetic radiation.
5G technology will offer speeds up to 10 times faster than the current 4G, opening up new possibilities for connected devices, including driverless cars.
Telecoms minister Alexander De Croo said earlier this year: "Brussels was one of the last cities in Europe to introduce 4G. We cannot allow that to happen a second time, because it would have significant economic consequences."