KPN Mobile ramps up 4G rollout plans

18 Jun 2013

In the wake of the launch of its new 4G KPN ‘All-in-One’ offers last week, KPN Mobile The Netherlands is accelerating its deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the country, and now aims to hit its targets three months ahead of its previous schedule. 4-Traders notes that as a result of the plan, KPN Mobile now hopes to achieve nationwide coverage by 31 March 2014 – instead of the former deadline of end-June. Its 4G network rollout will be scaled up to ensure the cellco reaches 50% of the Dutch people with its signal by the end of this month, rising to 80% of the population by the end of this year.

KPN is using frequencies in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands to roll out its 4G service, in order to deliver optimum service quality to end users. The 800MHz band will be used to secure a rapid blanket coverage of the territory, while the higher 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands will be employed more selectively to cater for high-capacity, high-traffic demand in built up areas.

Last month, TeleGeography’c CommsUpdate reported the carrier’s managing director Joost Farwerck as saying that his company was on course to complete its 4G rollout ahead of schedule. Speaking at an event in Rotterdam in late-May, the official said: ‘We are on schedule and getting to 50% coverage and if we can get to 100% before the summer next year, I won’t hesitate to do it.’ Farwerck noted at the time that there is strong demand from Dutch consumers for 4G, making it logical that the unit forges ahead with its rollout programme.

Hague-based KPN began its domestic LTE deployment in the first quarter of this year after paying EUR1.35 billion (USD1.7 billion) last December to purchase the requisite frequencies from the government. It had originally planned to complete its domestic 4G network by the summer of 2014. ‘We paid much more than we had hoped for, but given this is for 17 years and the billions of euros that are involved in this business, I think investors understand that,’ Farwerck said.

Netherlands, KPN Mobile (old - see KPN)