The Dutch Ministry of Defense won’t succeed in moving its intelligence satellite station in Burum before September. The deployment of 5G in The Netherlands is delayed as a result. This is evident from a proposal to change the National Frequency Plan for the 3.5 GHz frequency spectrum.
The 3.5 GHz frequency is important for the deployment of Dutch 5G. The country’s spectrum auction lags behind other EU member states. The frequency is currently in use by intelligence services and commercial satellite company Immarsat. As a result, it’s impossible to deploy 3.5 GHz 5G in the northern half of the Netherlands.
The deployment of 3.5 GHz 5G was recently delayed further, according to an amendment to the National Frequency Plan (NFP) by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. This amendment reveals that the Ministry of Defense, owner of the satellite station used by intelligence services, will not meet the planned deadline to move the station before September 2022.
To free up the frequency spectrum, the station was supposed to be moved before the end of the year. The new deadline is December 2023. The ministry failed to relocate on time. Reasons include the pandemic and a lack of “suitable materials”.
Immarsat misses deadline
Satellite company Immersat was supposed to move its ground station to Greece. This project has been postponed to December 2023 as well. The operators that won the 3.5 GHz spectrum auction should be able to use the frequency spectrum ‘cleanly’ as of December 1, 2023.
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