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The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) is working on coverage obligations for the upcoming frequency auction. Operators will have to realize 98 percent coverage, per municipality, according Telecompaper. EZK does not intend to impose this obligation in protected nature areas. All Natura 2000 areas will be excluded, State Secretary Mona Keijzer said to the Lower House of Parliament. EZK announced this measure earlier, with its Digital Connectivity Action Plan.
 
Improve outdoor coverage
 
Improving the outdoor coverage is one of the main points in that action plan. There are still places in the Netherlands where mobile network coverage is insufficient, for example because bringing offerings to certain locations is commercially unprofitable. That is why there will be a coverage obligation of 98 percent per municipality at the upcoming auction, except for the Natura 2000 areas. This European Union term includes all protected areas. 
 
The Netherlands has 160 Natura 2000 areas, according to Alterra, part of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The largest area in terms of surface area is the Veluwe: 88,436 hectares. This area is spread over the municipalities of Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Barneveld, Brummen, Ede, Elburg, Epe, Ermelo, Harderwijk, Hattem, Heerde, Nunspeet, Oldebroek, Putten, Renkum, Rheden, Rozendaal and Wageningen. Different calculations will apply to all these municipalities, where white spots will not need to be addressed in terms of coverage. This has consequences for the tourist area and highways such as the A12 and A50, as well as railway tracks.
 
Forests are a problem for deploying mobile coverage. It is a given that there will be no permission for the placement of mobile sites. Since mobile antennas cannot or are not allowed in the forest, they have to be placed instead close to the motorways or railway lines. The disadvantage here is that they must also then serve all cars or all intercity trains at the same time.
 
There are also Natura 2000 areas in Dutch and Zeeland waters as well as the Wadden Sea. Because mobile signals carry over water, there is less of a problem.