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Paul Wijngaard

Partnership Manager Communication Network Infrastructure

TNO

The Netherlands is a leader in leveraging digital technology for economic and societal growth. In recent decades, an estimated 20 to 40 per cent of our country's economic growth has arisen from telecommunications and ICT. A solid and future-proof ICT infrastructure is indispensable in this respect. Digital connectivity technologies, also known as Future Network & Services (FNS), is creating a new generation of wireless and fixed networks that can handle the growing demand for capacity while being robust, flexible and efficient with energy and materials.

There are also increasing and higher demands on these networks from applications. By making the networks programmable, they can best meet these requirements. Networks in high-performance computing must have very high bandwidth, while for autonomous driving and industrial applications, minimal delay is allowed (low latency networks). And for certain sectors, such as government, finance and healthcare, there are especially stricter requirements when it comes to security. Digital connectivity technologies merge digital services with infrastructure. This interfaces with other (key) technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud and Internet of Things (IoT).

Strategic autonomy

The latest generation of 6G mobile networks (available around 2030) will enable very fast mobile internet and provide opportunities for new digital services and applications for both government and business. The development of 6G is taking the form of a race between China, Europe and the United States. Economies of scale in the mobile industry mean that in chips, antennas and network components, only a few players are dominant globally. The Netherlands has its own strong players (such as NXP in radio components for antennas) and in Europe, Ericsson and Nokia are strong players in networks. But in the development of 6G, the cards are being reshuffled. To mitigate geopolitical risks and work towards our strategic autonomy, it is important for the Netherlands and Europe to maintain their strengths and build positions in areas that had previously shifted partly to Chinese and US companies.

More information here

National Growth Fund proposal

Mobile networks are driving the digitisation of our society and earning power in all sectors of the economy. The multi-year public-private programme proposal Future Network Services (FNS) describes how the Netherlands aims to secure a top international position in 6G.

Read the summary of the proposal (DUTCH)

Examples of new applications

Digital connectivity technologies play an important role in transforming the Netherlands in several areas, including smart mobility, smart energy grids, e-health, Smart Cities and blockchain technology. Using this key technology, our country can make efficiency gains, promote sustainability and improve daily life, among other things. The programme proposal Future Network Services (FNS) focuses on leading applications such as transport hubs, remote operations, smart grids, wireless detection, the wireless factory, e-commerce platforms and digital sports. These applications lead to new business and economic growth in the Netherlands and abroad. This is how we strengthen our position as a leading digital nation and work towards progress.

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