The Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs is preparing for a national frequency auction of 4G/5G mobile spectrum in the 700MHz, 1400MHz and 2100MHz bands in autumn 2019, it confirmed in a statement. Licences will be valid for 20 years (2020-2040) and carry coverage obligations specifically for areas of the country where mobile broadband connectivity is inadequate. The auction will be organised on the basis of the ‘Nota Mobile Communication’ white paper to be published later this year, after the Ministry has finished processing the consultation responses to an earlier draft version. Minister Henk Kamp added: ‘A new, national auction of available wireless communications leads to additional capacity for faster internet services. This will create a basis for the digital economy in the Netherlands to continue to grow in the future.’
The Ministry of Economic Affairs intends to send the final Nota Mobile Communication to the House of Representatives by the end of 2017, and a new Dutch government (yet to be formed despite elections taking place six months ago in March) will decide on additional frequencies to be distributed in the coming years, based on the finalised paper. The statement noted that such future bands will include spectrum reserved for business-only applications.