Relocation of the AIVD eavesdropping station necessary for the roll-out of 5G in the Netherlands’.

Relocation of the AIVD eavesdropping station necessary for the roll-out of 5G in the Netherlands’.

The roll-out of 5G networks in the Netherlands is hindered by a number of factors. Our country is densely populated and has few interference-free zones. However, these are necessary for a large eavesdropping park of the AIVD and the MIVD that is located in the Frisian Burum. However, for the roll-out of 5G, the station must be moved.

This is stated by State Secretary Mona Keijzer of Economic Affairs in a letter to the Lower House of Parliament. According to Keijzer, the most important thing is that the intelligence services should be able to continue to do their work. However, this means that if a 5G network is established in the Netherlands, it will have to be relocated to Burum.

3.5GHz band

There are currently a number of organisations in the Netherlands that already use the 3.5 GHz band. This is necessary for the deployment of 5G networks. The eavesdropping location in Burum makes use of this to intercept, among other things, satellite communications. This information is used, among other things, for security missions abroad.

However, TNO research shows that the frequency band on which the eavesdropping station is based cannot be combined with the roll-out of a 5G network. Both are based on the 3.5GHz frequency band. TNO therefore argues that joint use of the 3.5 GHz band in the north of the Netherlands, without affecting national security on the one hand or being able to make full use of 5G on the other hand, is impossible.

For this reason, the eavesdropping station will have to be relocated. In the Netherlands, there is no location where an interference-free zone is expected. This is because our country is so densely populated and networks must have almost full coverage in order to offer the same services to everyone.

Moving the eavesdropping station

For this reason, the Dutch government appoints a special envoy, who must enter into consultation with other countries. The envoy will have to assess the level of acceptance of certain partner countries that have yet to be identified. In the first months of 2019 it should already be clear whether it will be possible to move the eavesdropping station.

It’s not certain yet. Based on an internal message from the Ministry of Defence, Tweakers writes that relocation abroad cannot just take place. Strict legal and technical requirements must therefore be met. At the same time, account must be taken of the cost and duration of moving the station.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.