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The auction raised €1.23 billion, with each of the three major mobile operators, KPN, VodafoneZiggo, and T-Mobile, all taking part

The Netherlands’ latest 5G auction has proved quite competitive, raising a total of €1.23 billion, significantly exceeding the reserve price of around €915 million.

 
Twenty-year licences were granted to all three of the country’s major telcos – KPN, VodafoneZiggo, and T-Mobile – with stipulations that 5G coverage must be extended to 98% of the population and provide minimum speeds of 100 Mbps for the customers.
 
Here’s a breakdown of the spectrum gains:
 
KPN acquired 20 MHz in the 700 MHz band, 15 MHz in the 1,400 MHz band, and 40 MHz in the 2,100 MHz band. This broad range of spectrum cost them €416 million and should allow them to launch 5G soon as a result.
 
Vodafone acquired a similar spectrum range, picking up 20 MHz in the 700 MHz band, 15 MHz in the 1,400 MHz band, and 40 MHz in the 2,100 MHz band, for a total of €416 million. Ziggo said this new spectrum would allow them to reach near national coverage by the end of July, having already launched 5G services back in April.
 
Finally, T-Mobile gained 20 MHz in the 700 MHz band, 10 MHz in the 1,400 MHz band, and 40 MHz in the 2,100 MHz band. Picking up 5 MHz less than its competitors in the 1,400 MHz band does not seem to have saved T-Mobile much money, with a price tag for their total gains at €398, just €18 million less than its rivals. While the operator might be somewhat put out by this fact – especially having previously described the reserve prices on the auction as too high – it still holds an overall lead in spectrum versus its major competitors, partly as a result of acquiring Tele2 back in 2015.
 
Spectrum acquired in the 1,400 and 700 MHz bands will be available for immediate use by the operators, but the 2,100 MHz licences will come into effect next year, when current allocations officially expire.
 
The Dutch operators will still be waiting to get their hands on the 3.5 GHz frequency band, but this spectrum is not due to be auctioned until sometime in early 2022. 
 
 
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