The roll-out of fibre optic networks and 5G gained momentum in the Benelux in 2022. Circet played a crucial role in this trend as on of the fastest growing European network service provider. Within its coverage area, the group connected no fewer than 315,000 households to fibre optics. Bavo De Cock, CEO Circet Benelux: “We want to help ensure that the Benelux ranks among Europe’s top three fibre optic regions.”
The Circet Benelux figures don’t lie: 2022 turned out to be another remarkable year of growth for the roll-out of fibre-to-the-home and 5G networks. The multinational also contributed to the development of e-mobility and smart energy applications with the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles and of smart electricity, water and gas meters.
In terms of figures, Circet connected 315,000 households in Belgium and the Netherlands to fibre optics. This is a whopping 75% increase compared to 2021, when the network service provider made 180,000 connections. A much-needed catching-up exercise, especially for Belgium which was lagging behind among European nations. Barely 11.8% Belgian households had a fibre connection in 2021. Fibre penetration in the Netherlands scores a lot better at 49%, but is still below the European average of 57% (source: FTTH Council).
“As a pioneer in a fast-growing telecom market, we played a crucial role in the expansion of fibre optic networks in 2022,” said Bavo De Cock, CEO of Circet Benelux. “And we will continue to build on that momentum. We want to help ensure that the Benelux ranks among Europe’s top three fibre optic regions.”
Concurrently last year, Circet Benelux prepared its teams to convert sites en masse from 3G/4G to 5G – the new global wireless standard for mobile networks. Bavo De Cock: “Our aim is to give 5G a boost within the Benelux by performing 1500 swaps. With the acquisition of GRITT Projects, among other things, we are providing the much-needed support to make this a reality. We are joining forces to support our customers even better.”
The European Commission set 2025 as the deadline for the roll-out of 5G in all urban areas. With its much higher data capacity and speed, 5G is powerful enabling technology for a wide range of Internet of Things and other innovative applications. However, many Member States, including Belgium and the Netherlands, experienced delays in their roll-out.
In 2022, Circet Benelux also installed 9,000 new charging stations and 70,000 smart meters, and provided a record number of technical services. The group’s technicians carried out no fewer than 525,000 telecom equipment installations and repairs at companies and consumers’ homes.
In 2022, Circet Benelux recruited more than 300 new employees across all business units. Bavo De Cock: “In order to achieve our next growth ambitions, another 350 will be recruited in the coming months. By continuing to expand the vital infrastructure of tomorrow, we are making an important social impact.”