Coming fast 5G delays more than a year

It will still take until December 2023 for the faster variant of 5G internet to become available to Dutch consumers. That is the message of an advisory committee. The expectation is that Minister Adriaansens of Economic Affairs will take over the advice.

As a result, the further roll-out of 5G, which started two years ago, is delayed by more than a year. The plan was to make the โ€œsecond partโ€ of the 5G capacity available from September this year. This is the 3.5 GHz band.

Stripe through ambitions

Last year, a line went through the governments ambitions to offer this faster mobile network in 2022. The judge ruled satellite service provider Inmarsat right in a case against the government. Inmarsat provides services from the Frisian Burum, where there are large white dishes that are used, among other things, for emergency calls. They work on the 3.5 GHz band. In the roll-out of 5G on that band, this will collide, says Inmarsat.

The judge found that international agreements have been made about the availability of emergency calls and ruled that this should not be affected. The ministry had to sit down with the parties involved – including Inmarsat and the providers – to find a solution. An advisory committee was then set up, which sought advice from all parties involved. The Committee now concludes that an – already in preparation – move from Inmarsat to Greece is the best option. This is expected to be completed by 1 January 2024.

Necessary for the future

The promise is that the 3.5 GHz band makes the mobile internet much faster. Something you might not need directly on your phone – streaming videos also works well on 4G – but what the telecom sector believes is necessary for the future.

First of all, it provides more capacity and, in addition, the number of devices that demand a lot of internet speed is expected to grow in the coming years. Think of cars that get smarter functions and can drive more and more independently. The developments in the field of virtual reality and augmented reality are likely to require additional data capacity.

It is not yet known when the auction will be held for 3.5 GHz. This is likely to happen a few months before the frequency can actually be put into use. The first auction, for the 700 MHz frequency, raised more than 1.2 billion euros.