Following KPN Netherlands’ announcement in a press release this week that it has switched on commercial LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) services in The Hague, rival Vodafone Netherlands says it activated 27 antenna sites in Amsterdam three weeks ago using the faster technology and from 1 October will be operating LTE-A services ‘across the capital’, according to Telegeography.com on Sept 19, 2014. Both operators are using Category 6 carrier aggregation to support LTE-A performance, after the technology was demonstrated earlier this year, achieving peak download speeds over 200Mbps, and are both using the ‘4G+’ banner to market the upgrades. Jacob Groote, vice president of mobile operations at KPN said ‘… we add additional capacity to the network with 4G+ and the rollout of 4G on 1800MHz… even if it’s busy [we can] continue to provide… a stable high internet speed.’ For its part, Vodafone said on its website that since 1 September all current and new Vodafone 4G customers have access to the maximum available LTE speeds; in non-LTE-A zones these are up to 75Mbps (promising ‘practical download speed 10Mbps-25Mbps’) and in LTE-A (4G+) coverage zones the theoretical speed reaches 200Mbps with a practical download speed of 50Mbps-70Mbps promised.
CommsUpdate reported in June that Vodafone Netherlands planned to initially launch LTE-A in ten cities, including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Leiden, Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Schiphol, before expanding to a further 50 smaller cities by the year end. The following month CommsUpdate also reported that KPN was introducing LTE-A (in a rollout beginning 1 July) in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Eindhoven, aggregating frequencies in the 800MHz and 1800MHz bands.