Dutch incumbent telco KPN says it is currently trialling two wireless broadband access technologies in the rural province of Drente. KPN is evaluating a WiMax system from Samsung and an HSPA system produced by its current mobile telephony network vendor Ericsson.
According to the operator, results are promising enough to announce it will launch a wireless broadband service starting next year. Combined with its DVB-T offer, it will be able to provide all-wireless services to the small percentage of homes and businesses currently out of reach of the KPN DSL network.
“Late 2007, we will decide on the basis of the test results which of the two technologies for wireless broadband we will go ahead with, and roll it out in stages from 2008. By doing so, we can help consumers and businesses to get broadband internet access in remoter places where that is not possible at the moment”, said KPN Board member Eelco Blok.
KPN intends to close down its analogue telephony network and move to what it has labelled ‘ALL-IP’, by 2010. It will eventually do away with its local exchanges replacing them with a larger number of street cabinets, offering VDSL2 on the short range of copper remaing to the home. Wireless network extension and current ADSL2+ technology may also help plug some gaps in the operator’s planned VDSL/VOIP network coverage.
Nationwide wireless broadband licences are due for reissue this autumn. Licences enabling roaming are up for grabs early next year. Cable operator Casema has also expressed an interest in launching Wimax across Holland, if it is able to extend the licences it acquired from Versatel.