Friday, 29 May 2020

Vodafone switches on Dutch 5G using spectrum sharing

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 28 April 20

Around half the country will have access to 5G, despite the national 5G spectrum auction not yet taking place

Vodafone has announced that it will be activating its 5G network this evening across more than half of the Netherlands.  This news comes despite the fact that the nation’s first 5G spectrum auction has yet to take place, being scheduled for the end of June later this year. All three major Dutch telcos &ndash…

Vodafone has announced that it will be activating its 5G network this evening across more than half of the Netherlands. 

This news comes despite the fact that the nation’s first 5G spectrum auction has yet to take place, being scheduled for the end of June later this year. All three major Dutch telcos – KPN, T-Mobile, and VodafoneZiggo itself – are likely to take part in bidding for shares of the 700 MHz 1,400 MHz and 2,100 MHz bands available. The auction will not be delayed by the coronavirus, the Dutch ministry of economic affairs announced at the end of last month, despite many EU countries being forced to do so.

The auction is expected to raise around €900 million.

But, how can Vodafone launch 5G without 5G spectrum?

The answer lies in utilising its existing spectrum via Ericsson’s Spectrum Sharing technology. This technology allows Vodafone to divide its existing 1,800 MHz spectrum between 4G and 5G. 

“5G is an evolution that opens doors to new possibilities,” said Jeroen Hoencamp, CEO of VodafoneZiggo. “Today we are introducing 5G via ‘Ericsson Spectrum Sharing’ in our GigaNet. We are making use of the latest innovative technology to apply 5G in existing frequency bands, using our existing antennas.”

This spectrum sharing not only provides the capability of providing 5G using Vodafone’s existing network infrastructure, but also improves the efficiency of 4G too. Vodafone noted that it could reduce 4G latency by up to 30% and increase data speeds by an average of 10%.  

Full, national coverage of Vodafone’s 5G network is expected to be completed by the end of July.

The launch of the Netherland’s first 5G network comes at a tumultuous time, with the country one of the worst hit by a spate of 5G conspiracy theories that links the new radio signals to various health risks, including the coronavirus. Earlier this month, several radio towers were set alight by anti-5G vandals, causing significant disruption at a time when connectivity is more important than ever before.

Just how these conspiracy theorists will receive the news of the launch of a national 5G network remains to be seen.

 

Also in the news:
Deutsche Telekom’s vision of 5G Germany in 2020
Patent power: Samsung’s route to 5G glory?
Today's headlines from The 5G Daily

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