Dutch operators begin refarming 3G spectrum for LTE; T-Mobile testing VoLTE

3 Feb 2017

Mobile network operators (MNOs) in the Netherlands have begun deploying 3G spectrum for use on their LTE networks, representatives of the companies have informed Dutch publication Telecompaper. KPN has already started testing the 2100MHz band for 4G in Vlaardingen and Schiedam, while Vodafone Netherlands has also stated that it will start refarming 3G frequencies for 4G use this year. KPN currently uses the 800MHz and 1800MHz frequency bands for LTE and has already added 2600MHz LTE to several sites across the country, ahead of further expansion in congested areas. Ziggo (UPC Netherlands) began testing 3G spectrum for LTE use in late-2016 and currently uses the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands for 4G, with plans to add extra bandwidth this year in high traffic areas.

For its part, T-Mobile Netherlands’ 4G network utilises the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands, and in recent months the company has been working to add 2100MHz band support, with over 1,500 sites now using this frequency for LTE. According to a separate report by GSM Helpdesk, T-Mobile has also begun testing voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) over its 4G network. T-Mobile spokesperson Kathleen Loods confirmed that the firm began testing VoLTE in December 2016, although the technology is not yet available to customers as it is still at the trial stage. T-Mobile lags behind rival operators KPN, Vodafone and Tele2 NL, all of which already offer VoLTE services in the Netherlands.