Dutch telcos to compete for 3.5 GHz spectrum next month – RCR Wireless News

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The winning operators will be able to use the new 3.5 GHz spectrum from August 1

The Netherlands plans to carry out a new spectrum auction to award 5G frequencies on June 25, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate said in a statement.

The ministry said that the duration of the auction would depend on the progress of the bids.

After the auction, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) will announce the operators which secured national frequencies for 5G services. Mobile operators can then use the new frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band from August 1, 2024 to offer 5G technology to companies and consumers across the Netherlands.

Also, 2×50 megahertz out of the total 400 megahertz in the 3.5 GHz band remains available for private 5G networks. These frequencies will not be distributed in this auction.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Micky Adriaansens said: “The upcoming auction is a milestone for our digital ambitions. Dutch companies and consumers have had to wait too long for these new national 5G networks. Meanwhile, data consumption is growing strongly and countries around us have already taken steps. In order to handle all those digital business processes, services and products, the auctioning of new mobile frequencies in the Netherlands is desperately needed.”

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy had decided that participating operators will have access to a maximum of 40% of the total available frequencies. This means that frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band will be available for at least three Dutch carriers. There is also a build-out obligation for each permit.

The auction, which is carried out on behalf of the minister by the National Digital Infrastructure Inspectorate (RDI), will take place electronically from June 25. The permits are distributed in a multi-round clock auction. Participants bid on the number of permits they want at increasing prices until demand is less than or equal to supply.

Licenses will be valid for up to 17 years, until December 31, 2040.

In 2020, Dutch telcos VodafoneZiggo, T-Mobile and KPN had secured spectrum allocations in the first 5G auction held in the Netherlands.

At that time, the country’s three main mobile operators acquired a total of 26 separate licenses, spending €1.23 billion ($1.33 billion) on a variety of spectrum holdings in the 700 MHz, 1,400 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands.

As part of the terms of the auction, the operators had accepted a number of conditions, including covering 98% of each municipality, along with minimum speed requirements for businesses and consumers.

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