KPN investigates using LTE to provide rural broadband

KPN is considering the extent that its LTE network can be used to provide high-speed internet services to rural areas.

Dutch residents outside of urban areas often have no access to copper or fibre connections, relying on satellite or 3G for internet service, according to Tweakers, a local technology website.

The Netherlands has an estimated several hundred thousands of households without access to the internet via cable or ADSL.

KPN's LTE project manager Erik Vercouteren told Tweakers that the telco was interested in understanding how mobile operators in Germany were using the technology in a similar manner for rural provision.

"The German LTE spectrum auction included a mandatory condition that successful bidders must provide LTE to rural areas," said Vercouteren. "That is why we're interested in the German market. We can benefit by seeing what has, or hasn't, worked."

However, the KPN manager said that LTE for home-based internet connection within the Netherlands wasn't on the agenda at present. "We have started the rollout of LTE in cities and urban areas, and outlying areas will come at a later stage."

"There is a physical limitation [to LTE]", Vercouteren told Tweakers. "If everyone wants internet and HDTV access, and wants to watch it all on the same LTE network, then we have a lack of capacity. That just doesn't fit."

Separately, a consumer panel organised by Telecom Paper to examine the perception of LTE reported nearly 40 per cent of consumers indicating they will eventually need a fast mobile network with download speeds of at least 100 Mbps. The year before, the figure was at 27 per cent.

For more:
- see this Tweakers article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)

Related articles:
KPN, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Tele2 bid €3.8B in Dutch LTE auction
Analysts: América Móvil may push KPN to invest more in networks
Mallinson: Spectrum licensing remains the key to LTE deployment
DT CEO Obermann to take over at cable company Ziggo

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