Dutch again delay 5G spectrum auction
The auction of the 5G spectrum in the Netherlands has been delayed again, much to the local telecom companies’ frustration. “An auction this year is no longer a possibility,” a spokesperson for the National Digital Infrastructure Service (RDI) confirmed to NU.nl. “A new date for the auction has yet to be announced.”
KPN, Vodaphone, and Odido, formerly T-Mobile, are eagerly awaiting the chance to bid on frequencies so they can offer 5G mobile services. Mobile internet traffic in the Netherlands is growing by 30 to 50 percent per year, and consumers expect faster internet on their phones.
The RDI intended to release the 5G spectrum on the 3.5GHz band before the end of the year. But an adjustment to the National Frequency Plan (NFP) has thrown a spanner in the works. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, several parties have appealed against the adjustment.
“The court will hear the appeal on October 11 and 12,” a spokesperson for the ministry told NU.nl. “Only then can we provide more clarity about when the auction can take place.”
The Dutch telecom companies were disappointed by this new delay. “This auction should have taken place a long time ago,” a KPN spokesperson told the newspaper. “We are several years out of step with other countries in Europe, and there is still a lot of uncertainty.”
“The 3.5GHz band is particularly important to us and an essential part of the development of our network,” a spokesperson for Vodafone said. “We hope that this will be available for national mobile communications in the short term.”
The Netherlands is at risk of losing its position as the country with the best mobile networks in the world, Odido said. The new frequencies are desperately needed to handle the ever-increasing mobile internet traffic and enable faster mobile internet traffic. The latter is especially vital for Dutch industry, the Odido spokesperson told the newspaper.