November 21, 2019
Rotterdam, the Netherlands – KPN and Tampnet have entered into a partnership to expand 4G coverage in the North Sea for business customers. By installing an offshore antenna network, the coverage area of the KPN network will be expanded by more than 5,000 km2, which is comparable to the area of the province of Noord-Brabant. The collaboration was announced at the Maritime Offshore & Sustainable Technology symposium (MOST) at The Hague University.
“For a long time the North Sea was an impossible place to achieve mobile coverage, with bad weather conditions and too little commercial activity,” said Jacob Groote, KPN’s executive vice-president business market. “The collaboration with a specialized party such as Tampnet and the increased digitalization make it possible to roll out 4G here on a large scale and cost-effectively.”
Expansion of coverage area
In 2020, business users working at sea up to 300 kilometers from the Dutch coastline will have mobile coverage, which is an extension of 285 kilometers. This will be of tremendous benefit to people who work on drilling platforms and wind farms, but also fishermen and defense personnel. At present, they use more expensive satellite and beam connections, which deliver poorer performance and which also require special equipment. After the expansion of the coverage area, they will be able to use their normal mobile devices with a second SIM card and work in the same way as on land.
Tampnet is going to build 10 masts with 25 antennas in the Dutch part of the North Sea, half of which has already been built. The new infrastructure is part of the larger Tampnet network which also includes the English and Norwegian parts of the North Sea. Business customers will also be able to access 4G services here.
Covering 5G network
“We plan to expand this model in the future, so that our customers can reach the entire North Sea,” says Groote. According to him, the model is future-proof. “This collaboration offers the opportunity to grow into a covering 5G network in the North Sea.”
Tampnet’s experience and success with offshore fibre and LTE in the Norwegian, Danish and British parts of the North Sea and other basins, such as the Gulf of Mexico, is now being applied to the Dutch sector as well. For instance, in the UK Tampnet has connected the Danish company Ørsted’s Hornsea One windfarm to Tampnet’s fibre optic network and installed base stations providing 4G coverage between shore and the wind farm and in the wind farm area for all construction vessels.
Morten Holm, head of the Hornsea One wind farm said: “We were able to set up a fully functioning offshore office, which enabled us to efficiently organize coordination and planning on location. The speed of the network connection provided simplified communication between our teams onshore and offshore and enabled us to digitalize our activities at the same time.”
KPN is the leading provider of telecommunication and IT services in the Netherlands and offers consumers fixed and mobile telephony, internet and television. KPN also provides fully managed telecommunication and IT solutions for business customers.
Read more about KPN here.