The 5G rollout requires councils, the government, telecom operators and market players to work together closely. This is one of the most important findings from the exploratory meeting organized by Eurofiber in The Hague last week.
Representatives from all parties involved discussed the rollout of the newest-generation mobile networks in the Netherlands. An efficient rollout will require a Delta Plan, encompassing the expertise and resolve of all parties involved. ‘Our meeting represents a good first step,’ says Eurofiber CEO Alex Goldblum. ‘The Netherlands is leading in Europe when it comes to mobile and broadband use, but we shouldn’t take that position for granted. Enormous investments are necessary to continue digitalizing our society. By joining forces, we can rollout 5G faster, which is great for the Netherlands’ position as digital leader in Europe.’
Self-driving cars and remote operations
5G is the latest generation of super-fast internet and has a delay of no more than a few mili-seconds. It enables a whole range of new applications and opportunities for the Netherlands – imagine a surgeon operating remotely using a robot arm. 5G can also connect billions of devices to the internet, allow cars to communicate with each other and stream video to virtual-reality headsets.
Amazing applications with at least one thing in common: they generate mountains of data, which require a robust digital infrastructure. That infrastructure is 5G, the importance of which will now become clear to many people. A lot still needs to happen in the Netherlands before this technology becomes commonplace in all homes, cars, offices and cell phones, that much became evident during the exploratory meeting.
Much more extensive than 4G
Getting 5G operational in the Netherlands is an enormous challenge, much more extensive than in the case of 4G. This will be a large-scale infrastructural operation for ‘The Netherlands Ltd.’. The new generation of mobile networks also require a robust fiberoptic infrastructure; Eurofiber’s main reason for organizing the meeting. Each party involved was aware that they must work together closely in order to take advantage of these opportunities for the Netherlands.
The 3.5 GHz frequency
One of the issues surrounding 5G in the Netherlands is the accessibility of the 3.5 GHz-frequency – which has been marked as one of three pioneering frequencies in Europe. On June 5th it was a point of discussion in the Dutch government. At the moment, the frequency is used by security services for interception activities. The Dutch province of Groningen is currently pioneering 5G in the hopes that part of this spectrum will soon be released for new tests. ‘We are in talks with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, who in turn, are in talks with their colleagues at the Ministry of Defense and Home Affairs,’ explains Peter Rake, a representative of the Economic Board Groningen, during the meeting.