Belgian operator Proximus has outlined its plans to switch off its 3G network by the end of 2024.

The company will instead focus its attention on using this freed-up spectrum on developing its 4G and 5G services.

The move to switch off its 3G service is in line with many operators around the world, and a necessary approach to maximize the potential of 4G and 5G networks.

According to Proximus, only two percent of its total data traffic is driven by 3G. The company plans to provide its 2G service until at least the end of 2027, noting that calling and texting will remain possible.

Belgium's telecom regulator recently extended the 2G and 3G spectrum licenses held by several Belgian operators until the end of the year.

The latest extension was the third time the licenses have been extended, with the 2G and 3G licenses originally due to expire in March 2021. But the licenses have been extended to ensure a continuity of services.

Rival operator Telenet also intends to switch off its 3G networks by 2024, as part of a phased shutdown, while Orange Belgium plans to switch off 3G a year later, in 2025, with 2G networks to be turned off by 2030 by the latest. Proximus is Belgian's largest mobile operator with over 3.5 million mobile subscribers.

In our latest magazine, DCD looks at the switch-off of 2G and 3G services and what it means for 4G, 5G, and IoT advancements. Read and download it for free now.

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