KPN, Odido and VodafoneZiggo have acquired licences in the 3.5 GHz band in the latest 5G auction in the Netherlands. The week-long bidding ended with prices just over the reserve rates set by the government, for a total EUR 174.4 million. 

The new spectrum will be available later this month to help the operators significantly expand their 5G network capacity. The licences run for 16 years, until the end of 2040. 

Ready to activate

VodafoneZiggo acquired 100 MHz in the range 3,450-3,550 MHz for EUR 57.5 million, Odido took the 3,550-3,650 MHz range for EUR 58.5 million, and KPN bought 100 MHz at 3,650-3,750 MHz for EUR 58.4 million.

The release of the key mid-band frequencies had been delayed several years following a dispute with Inmarsat over vacating part of the spectrum in the north of the country. Last year the government reached a deal with the satellite operator to move its affected business to a new site in Greece. 

Odido said it plans to activate the new spectrum immediately, bringing improved capacity to customers. Over half its mobile network is ready to use the new frequencies already. 

Last year the government set aside 2×50 MHz in the band already for private networks. Applications for this spectrum were opened at the end of 2023. 

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