Dutch government kicks off 5G spectrum auction

5G auction covers frequencies in the 700 MHz, 1400 MHz and 2100 MHz bands

The Dutch government today an auction of 5G frequencies through which it expects to raise a minimum of 900 million euros ($1 billion).

The 5G auction includes spectrum in the 700 MHz 1400 MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

The Dutch government also expects to carry out a spectrum auction to award frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band in 2022, as the band is currently being used for satellite communications by Dutch intelligence services.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs said it will not comment on the auction until it is fully completed.

“Dutch companies and consumers have a great need for fast and reliable mobile communication. With the auction of the necessary frequencies, specifically 700 MHz, 1,400 MHz and 2,100 MHz, space is made available to meet the still growing demand for data. At the same time, it lays a solid foundation for future digital innovations in the fields of care, agriculture and mobility. Part of the frequency space to be auctioned is suitable for 5G,”  Radiocommunications Agency Netherlands said in a release.

“During the auction, which takes place via an electronic auction system, measures are taken to ensure that participating market parties have access to a maximum of 40% of the total available frequencies. As a result, the Netherlands will also have at least three providers of 5G mobile communication in the future,” the agency said.

The process will be carried out through several rounds. The country’s three largest operator — KPN, Vodafone Ziggo and T-Mobile Netherlands — will take part in the 5G auction.

KPN had previously tested 5G technology between multiple locations in the Netherlands. Phone calls, video calls and data sessions were conducted from the latest 5G smartphones between the 5G indoor network in the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, the 5G Field Lab in the Port of Rotterdam and the Technology Lab of KPN in The Hague. KPN used 3.5 GHz frequencies for these recent tests.

The operator had also announced 5G tests using spectrum in the 700 MHz,3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands.

Also, Vodafone Ziggo has been carrying out 5G trials in partnership with Ericsson in Maastrich during 2019.

In October 2019, T-Mobile Netherlands announced it will start to test  5G on the 700 MHz frequency, after it received two test licenses from the government. T-Mobile was granted a regional two-month test license for testing on the entire 700 MHz band in the Hague region and surrounding areas.


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