Vodafone has launched its 5G network across half of the Netherlands, with full coverage expected for end-July. All Vodafone customers with a suitable device and subscription will be able to use 5G in the coverage area within the week.
While the country has not yet auctioned 5G spectrum, Vodafone said it is able to provide 5G on existing 1800 MHz spectrum bands, making it the first to introduce 5G services in the country. Using technology developed by partner Ericsson, Vodafone can divide the existing 1800 MHz spectrum between 4G and 5G. This makes it possible to improve latency by 30 percent – from an average of 30 milliseconds on 4G to an average of under 20 milliseconds – and increase data speeds by an average of 10 percent. Vodafone noted that the maximum speed of 350 Mbps on 4G could theoretically be increased to 1 Gbps.
Via spectrum sharing (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing), suitable devices can use the spectrum for both 4G and 5G.
Suitable subscriptions and devices
All existing and new Vodafone customers with a Red (consumer) or Red Pro (business) subscription can access 5G at no extra cost. These subscriptions will be activated over the coming days, with 5G active within a week. Customers on Start plans can get access through an add-on of EUR 2.00 per month.
Vodafone is selling a number of devices suitable for 5G, including the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra and Oppo Find X2 Pro. The range will be expanded. When using 5G, a 5G symbol will appear on the screen.
Rollout of networks
Vodafone has registered for the multiband auction scheduled to take place this spring. The new frequency bands 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz will become available after that auction.