VodafoneZiggo launches 5G with Ericsson’s DSS in Netherlands

VodafoneZiggo said its 5G coverage will reach all of the Netherlands by late July. (Pixabay)

Dutch service provider VodafoneZiggo is launching 5G with Ericsson Spectrum Sharing and Ericsson 5G Core as part of its GigaNet strategy.

Using what VodafoneZiggo calls an “innovative” technology to apply 5G to existing spectrum bands, it claims to be the frontrunner in 5G in the Netherlands. Plans call for first activating 5G in more than half of the Netherlands, extending to national coverage by late July.

Ericsson points out that the spectrum situation in the Netherlands is different compared to other European countries. In Europe, three new frequency bands have been designated specifically for 5G: 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz, but these are not yet available in the Netherlands.

In June, the 700 MHz frequency will be auctioned, but the 3.5 GHz band, which is currently being used by the country’s defense satellite system, won’t be available by auction until 2022.

Dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) allows operators to dynamically allocate some of their existing 4G LTE spectrum to 5G. By deploying Ericsson Spectrum Sharing now, VodafoneZiggo is able to introduce 5G over a wide area using existing frequency bands and existing Ericsson Radio System equipment.

"With the introduction of 5G, VodafoneZiggo is investing in the digital and economic development of the Netherlands," said VodafoneZiggo CEO Jeroen Hoencamp in a press release. "Via the powerful GigaNet, we will offer super-fast internet throughout the Netherlands in 2021 with a download speed of up to 1 gigabit per second via the fixed network, without having to do any digging. With the addition of 5G, we want to offer the Netherlands the best fixed and mobile digital infrastructure in the world and create a new level of connectivity." 

RELATED: DT and Vodafone Germany use dynamic spectrum sharing for 5G

Vodafone currently offers the following devices for 5G use with settings for the Netherlands: Samsung Galaxy S20 5G, S20 +, S20 Ultra and Oppo Find X2 Pro.  

“Truly, it’s in times of crisis that we realize just how vital our communications networks are. Investing in 5G opens so many opportunities for us all, from remote medical care to automating resilient utilities services. Working together, we can keep more people connected, and safe,” said Arun Bansal, Ericson’s president of Europe and Latin America in a statement.

Verizon’s DSS plans

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg provided an update of sorts on Verizon’s DSS plans during Friday’s earnings conference call with investment analysts. He said the DSS tests are going very well for Verizon and the trigger on when that goes nationwide will be determined by executives Tami Erwin and Ronan Dunne. DSS is what is going to enable Verizon to offer a nationwide 5G service this year.

Verizon said during its analyst day in February that it planned to use DSS commercially the second half of this year and will deploy five times more small cells this year. The pandemic thus far has not changed those plans, according to Vestberg.