Dutch municipalities still wrestling with questions about 5G

Monday 2 December 2019 | 14:44 CET | News
The rollout of 5G is a major theme for municipalities, Rudolf Roeleveen and Anneleen van Beek, both from the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG), said at the Telecompaper Telecom Insights conference, in a session devoted to the challenges municipalities will have to face over the coming years.

The VNG looked at the impact of 5G and organized knowledge sessions with municipalities. Many questions remain among municipalities, especially among smaller ones. VNG added that it was not wrong if a municipality was not actively working on 5G and smart cities. It could also join in with regional developments.

Large and small municipalities get many questions about 5G and radiation. In small municipalities, officials or councilors have been personally approached, at the association or at a store. Knowledge platform EMV, looking at electromagnetic fields and health has organised information in sections with Q&A, also for consumers.

Active cities such as Rotterdam and Eindhoven are opting for a multidisciplinary approach. 5G is not an end in itself, but must answer needs from municipalities, companies and citizens. The municipality must take the lead, form a vision and actively consult with residents and companies, said Frank Vieveen, who works at the municipality of Rotterdam.

Rotterdam rain radar

Rotterdam uses all kinds of measurement systems for public tasks. On the tower of Nationale Nederlanden is a rain radar, which gives a much more detailed picture locally than the country’s meteorological institute. When it rains, cyclists get longer traffic green lights.

The city has developed CENT-R (City Energy Network Tool Rotterdam), a large modular street cabinet suitable for all kinds of purposes. For example, an AED can be inserted in the cabinet, or a central parking meter, or a charging station for electric cars. The municipality has over 200 smart city projects in various areas. The developments in Rotterdam have been taken over by 23 municipalities throughout the metropolitan region of Rotterdam-The Hague.

Limited growth in antenna numbers

One question that always comes back, according to spectrum regulator Agentschep Telecom, VNG and Monet, the legal-administrative partnership of mobile operators. What is happening in the field of antennas? Sander van der Zande from VodafoneZiggo told participants at Telecompaper’s conference that the number of mobile antennas is growing, though at a limited rate.

The mobile operators distinguish between three types of antennas. Their licenses for 700/800/900 MHz have a range of up to 20 kilometers. That is why not so many are needed: often only one for one centre. The permits for 1800 MHz to 3.5 GHz are shorter, to 1-2 km; that is why a more denser network is necessary for full coverage. The future 26 GHz permits will be even shorter, up to 200 meters.

Every mobile operator has between 4,000 and 5,000 mobile sites. The new permits from the Multiband auction will be integrated into that existing network. VodafoneZiggo expects no new sites to be needed in the countryside. Monet takes believes an additional 10 percent will be necessary.

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Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Companies: Agentschap Telecom / Telecompaper / VodafoneZiggo
Countries: Netherlands
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