Erik Vercouteren, program director LTE Program, KPN, Netherlands is speaking as part of the LTE MasterClass on Day One of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show we speak to him about KPN’s LTE roll-out strategy in the Netherlands.
What are the chief challenges you are facing as you roll out LTE?
Rolling out 4G in a densely-populated country like The Netherlands is a challenge, as it is a complex exercise to align building permits, transmission upgrades, antenna swaps and hardware replacements. But we are doing very well, I must say – reaching up to 50 per cent population coverage in about five months.
What’s your strategy around pricing LTE and why have you made those choices?
We have launched 4G as an integrated part of our portfolio, so there’s no ‘premium’ for LTE itself. Initially, we introduced 4G on the larger data bundles and as of the 1st of July, we will integrate 4G into all data bundles in our new “all-in-one” line-up. We believe that 4G is a major improvement to the user experience on mobile data and want to make this available to all our customers as soon as possible.
The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.
Yes, we launched in urban areas covering Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht as soon as possible. But we also cover all the smaller cities and towns in between – and will cover rural areas as we continue our roll-out through the rest of the year. We believe that 4G should be available everywhere – that’s why we roll the 4G service out like an “oil stain” covering the entire country, rather than building coverage in busy hot spots only. If you really want to enjoy the benefits of 4G, it should be available in the entire country – in urban and rural areas!
How optimistic are you about the impact that RCS services might have for your customers?
We are closely following this to see how this could be of additional value to our customers. But our priority at this moment is to build nation-wide coverage on 4G in The Netherlands.
What do you think will be the most exciting new development in LTE in 2013?
The experiences with the first VoLTE implementations will be very exciting. And we are very interested in the possibilities that will become available with e-MBMS or LTE Broadcast.
Why is the LTE World Summit such an important event to attend?
This is the event to meet up with professionals that are working on LTE worldwide and the place to share experiences and learn from each other. KPN is again very proud to host the LTE World Summit in the capital of The Netherlands, the beautiful city of Amsterdam. And especially since this is the city where we launched our 4G services earlier this year!