On 25 October, the iPhone 5c and 5s will be released in the Netherlands. Following the announcement this week of the Dutch release date, Dutch telco KPN has confirmed that both smartphones will support its 4G network.
Mix of bands
The telco said the two devices will support the 800Mhz spectrum band used by its LTE network. However, KPN is not yet included on the list of networks with official iPhone 5c and 5s support on the Apple website.
KPN uses a mix of the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz band for its 4G network. The 800MHz band is used to achieve a fast national deployment of the 4G-network — the band has better propogation, meaning that less infrastructure is needed to cover the same area compared to other bands — whereas the 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands are used for providing better capacity and higher speeds in densely populated areas.
Earlier this year, the company revealed its plans to provide 4G coverage for 80 percent of the Dutch population by the end of this year, with the intention of having 100 percent coverage by the end of the first quarter in 2014. It said in recent announcement that it's still on track to meet that deadline.
Competition not far behind
Although KPN is the first Dutch telco to near completion of its 4G network rollout, its competitors are not far behind. T-Mobile will start deploying its 4G network on 18 November, while Vodafone already did so in August. Both companies focusing at first on the four major cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) before proceeding to provide full coverage throughout the Netherlands. The two telcos too have stated that the iPhone 5c and 5s will be able to make use of their 4G networks.
Although it would seem to be a given that the new iPhone would work on the fourth-generation networks, past developments gave plenty of reasons to doubt the inevitability of iPhone support. Initially, KPN only used the 800Mhz band for its 4G services, which is not supported by the old iPhone 5. For the iPhone 5c and 5s, KPN says users can expect download speeds of up to 50Mbps.