Dutch to have ‘basic’ 5G on-air nationwide by 2020
Dutch telecom operator, T-Mobile, is going to offer ‘basic’ 5G internet access nationwide in the Netherlands by the end of 2020. First to be connected is The Hague, where test locations are set up this year, before rolling out in the city.
The latter doesn’t mean the Dutch 5G network will come up to the general expectations of 10 to 100 times faster internet right away. Something you need to let autonomous vehicles communicate with each other and with the road infrastructure, for instance.
The first networks will use lower frequencies, making them not much faster than 4G today. T-Mobile wants to offer the service to new 5G smartphone users anyway. Those smartphones are expected to show up on the market this year.
The higher frequencies not being available yet is due to a number of strategic ‘spy satellite dishes’ in Burum (North Holland) to eavesdrop on the Middle East. In December the Dutch government decided to move them ‘somewhere else’.
Really fast in 2023
These crucial higher 5G frequencies are auctioned only end of this year or beginning 2020. The latter makes rolling out 5G nationwide by the end of 2020 ‘rather a challenge’. It is expected 5G to become really fast only by 2023.
T-Mobile and the city of The Hague want to start with setting up the infrastructure to try new applications, together with universities and companies. An example is to equip all parking spots at the coast in Scheveningen with sensors.
That way visiting tourists can find a free parking spot easily on busy summer days, Fred Herrebout, 5G strategist at T-Mobile says. Or having ‘smart cities’ with garbage bins communicate themselves that they are ‘full’ and ready to be emptied, as another example of the Internet of Things (IoT) to come.
EU wants 5G by 2020
The EU wants its member states to have 5G operational before the end of June 2020. Switzerland just raised 335 million euro last week with the auction of its 5G licenses and is – while not being an actual member of the EU – one of the first countries to administer the 5G spectrum in Europe.
In Belgium the auction of the 5G frequencies is postponed by the fall of the government. There probably won’t be an auction before the new government is installed after elections on May 26th. Last week news broke that Flemish IT service provider, Cegeka, is joining the battle for the licenses of the ultra-fast internet of the future, 5G.
French telecom group, Orange, parent company of Orange Belgium, is going to introduce 5G in Brussels and 16 other cities as from next year. That was announced by CEO, Stéphane Richard, in Paris in December 2018.