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Telenet to launch LTE trial, new investment planned

Flemish cable operator Telenet will launch an LTE next-generation mobile trial in Mechelin in April or early May as the next phase in its strategy of adding mobile capability to its fixed-network triple-play.

Telenet has also committed to investing an additional €30m annually in infrastructure between now and 2015 as part of its Digital Wave programme.

Announcing the LTE trial at Cable Congress in Brussels today, CEO Duco Sickinghe said the trial would enable the operator to test the capabilities of the network and consumer response ahead of the possible auction of new mobile spectrum by the Belgian government later this year. “We believe LTE has great value,” said Sickinghe. “We want to see what people do with it before we buy LTE spectrum. For a cable company to make such a move we have to see what it does.” He said that Telenet’s decision to become a full MVNO meant it would have its own core mobile network. “It’s a big step.”

Sickinghe revealed that Telenet plans to invest about €30m a year annually in its IP network and hybrid applications over the next five years, which will involve taking fibre to within 600m of most homes in place of 1.5km today. The doubling of Telenet’s investment plans will primarily enable the deployment of video-rich applications over broadband including the Flanders Interactive Platform (FLIP), a project involving a number of partners, enabling video-rich applications including healthcare, mobility, media and consumer applications and e-government.