The auction for the 3.5GHz frequency band, which is important for a faster 5G network, will not take place until after October 2022. The reason for the delay is that the so-called National Frequency Plan must first be amended. This amended plan, in which all interests related to the 5G frequency auction must be safeguarded, is expected to come into effect on 1 October.
After that, the important frequency band for 5G will be auctioned “as soon as possible”. Although Dutch telecom providers already offer a form of 5G, the speed of the internet will only really increase if the 3.5GHz band can be used.
Initially, the auction was planned for April 2022. In September of this year it was already announced that a delay was imminent. The reason for this is the ongoing issue with satellite company Inmarsat. Inmarsat has reception dishes in the Frisian town of Burum, with which it provides emergency, urgent and safety communication at sea and in the air for a large part of the world. This has been happening since 1990 via the 3.5GHz frequency band.
An advisory committee is looking for a solution for Inmarsat before the auction can go continue. The committee must issue a recommendation in the first quarter of 2022. In July, a judge ruled that Inmarsat does not have to move its reception dishes for the time being, because international agreements about the ground station outweigh the desire to free up the frequency band for faster internet.