KPN urges government to release 3.5GHz spectrum for 5G

16 April 2018 | Natalie Bannerman

KPN, the Dutch telecoms company, has said that the government needs to release the 3.5GHz spectrum required for 5G services.

In a statement announcing its launch of four field trials for 5G, the company was quoted as saying: “The availability of this frequency is crucial for a successful test of 5G applications and the introduction of 5G in the Netherlands. KPN is actively trying to contribute to a suitable solution for this problem.”

As for the field trials themselves, they will carried out during the course of 2018 on a variety of different use cases.

"Where 4G connects people, 5G will connect the whole society,” said Jacob Groote, director of product management business market at KPN. It is therefore very important that we, together with customers and technology partners, investigate how 5G can optimize business processes and improve the customer experience. We will also investigate how we can use this new network technology in combination with developments such as artificial intelligence, drones and virtual reality for a wide range of smart applications."

In the area of urban connectivity KPN will partner with the municipality of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam ArenA and network supplier Nokia, to test various 5G applications. The tests will use massive MIMO antenna technologies to handle the extreme capacity requirements of busy locations.

Commenting on the partnership Alderman Udo Kock, head of innovation at the City of Amsterdam, said: "With the help of 5G technology, Amsterdam can develop crowd-management and an improved fan experience for the ArenA and the surrounding area, making a visit to the stadium for all guests. In addition, thanks to 5G, all kinds of applications in the field of artificial intelligence and virtual reality in Amsterdam Zuidoost can be developed, which will increase the supply for residents and visitors."

Adding to his comments, Henk van Raan, chief innovation Officer of the ArenA, said: "We are pleased with this development. It brings our ambitions to give visitors of the stadium an incredible experience a step closer. With EURO2020 as a city of play, we want to guide visitors to and from the stadium in the right direction through innovations and minimize the pressure on the city and its facilities. It is also a logical step and a condition for the development of the Amsterdam Zuidoost area."

In the agricultural space, KPN is working with Wageningen University and network supplier ZTE, to precision agriculture using drones connected to the mobile network. The tests will be carried out at a farm in Valthermond and KPN will also experiment in Drenthe using mobile communication based on millimetre waves.

"In Valthermond, techniques are developed that are translated into agricultural practice. Together with our partners, we have a unique mix of business, government and education. With 5G we now add a unique element to this and farmers can analyse and respond to real-time data," added Henk Jumelet, CDA, in the province of Drenthe.

KPN is partnering with Chinese vendor Huawei, on its transport and logistics trials in Rotterdam. KPN will explore network slicing for business-critical applications it also wants to investigate virtual reality for industrial applications.

And in the automotive space, KPN will test the latest technologies in mobile networks for automotive purposes, as part of its European project called Concorda. Tests are to include things like short response times that require ultra- low latency and that enable cars to communicate in real-time with other cars or with things like traffic lights and matrix signs.