KPN Mobile The Netherlands, the cellular division of KPN Telecom, has announced that its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services will go live from next month. According to ZDNet the carrier is looking to inaugurate services in northern Randstad – an area that covers the Netherlands’ four biggest cities: Utrecht, Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam – in early February, with the southern half of Ranstad set to follow in due course. KPN began trials of LTE-based services with enterprise users in Utrecht and The Hague last year.
Under KPN’s rollout plan, by the middle of this year the cellco’s 4G network will cover 50% of the Dutch population, rising to nationwide coverage by the summer of 2014. The carrier predicts that users will benefit from average download speeds of 20Mbps on the new infrastructure, with maximum theoretical speeds of 50Mbps. Average upload speeds will be 10Mbps, with a maximum theoretical peak of 25Mbps expected, KPN said. To drive the launch, the operator has announced a range of new tariff plans – launching on 4 February – for tablets, smartphones and dongles. Included in the packages is a ‘Hi XL 4G’ plan that comprises 4GB of LTE data for EUR32.50 (USD43.30) per month, and a data-only option – ‘4G Internet Bundle’ – comprising 5GB of downloads for EUR35.00. a month. To support the launch KPN Mobile The Netherlands is offering a range of devices, including the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, Samsung S3 4G, Huawei Ascend P1, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 4G, as well as a Huawei dongle and 4G Wi-Fi HotSpot. However, the carrier is not planning to carry the iPhone5 for 4G for the moment, noting that ‘The iPhone5 has not yet been optimised for all the frequencies on which mobile internet is offered in the Netherlands. Apple is expected to make its supply suitable for these frequencies sometime soon. The current device cannot be used yet on the frequencies for which KPN has obtained a licence and which will offer 4G.’ KPN’s LTE network utilises spectrum in the 800MHz band, while Apple’s iPhone supports 1800MHz.