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  • 30 Apr 2021
  • ·
  • Technology

Cellnex wins bid for management and expansion of ProRail telecom infrastructure

In the Netherlands


Cellnex, as a neutral host, will be exclusively responsible for the construction, management and operation of telecom sites (for ProRail, MNOs and other market parties) that enable high-quality mobile connectivity on and around the tracks in the Netherlands.


Barcelona / Utrecht, 30 april 2021.- Cellnex, Europe’s leading independent telecommunication infrastructure provider was selected by ProRail as the Passive Infrastructure Provider (PIP) after a bid. Cellnex will be responsible for the management and expansion of the telecom sites for mobile connectivity along the Dutch railway tracks. For the implementation, Cellnex works together with VolkerWessels Telecom, specialist in designing, building and managing the digital infrastructure.

The contract allows Cellnex to set up 80 masts on railway land that it leases from ProRail. In addition, Cellnex is also allowed to rent the masts to other parties and may build another 100 masts on ProRail land.

“Total connectivity”

ProRail uses its own network for mobile telecommunications, the GSM-R network. For the period 2021-2027, further digitization of the railway is central. The GSM-R network will be renewed. This means, among other things, that more telecom sites will have to be built. In addition, from Europe there are two other important developments: Digital Rail Operations, provided by the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), and Gigabit Train, with which the sector wants to offer high-quality and fast internet to train passengers.

Opening up to market parties

In addition to its role as a neutral telecom infrastructure provider for ProRail, Cellnex has the exclusivity for any BTS development along the whole rail network. Ed Boerema, Managing Director Cellnex Netherlands: “The total demand for passenger and freight transport is expected to increase by 30% by 2040. More movements on and around the track also means more demand of data and telecommunication services. And with the advent of 5G, more and more new applications are becoming possible. As a neutral and independent infrastructure provider, Cellnex can provide MNOs and other market parties with sufficient and suitable telecom sites along the track.”


Quality and safety are vital to ProRail and Cellnex. This also applies for VolkerWessels Telecom, that has been selected as a subcontractor after a market survey. VolkerWessels Telecom possesses all the necessary certifications and knows all the specifications of the network. Peter Jan Kamst, Sales Manager at VolkerWessels Telecom: “Working on and around the railway is not easy. It requires a great deal of responsibility from all the people in the team. Good mutual cooperation and short lines of communication are therefore crucial. The specialists of Cellnex and VolkerWessels Telecom complement each other perfectly.”

Long-term relationship

Arjen Boersma, Chief Information Officer at ProRail: “The number of train passengers in the Netherlands will increase by at least 30 percent in the next twenty years. That also means that more people in the train will need mobile coverage and internet. With this step, we kill two birds with one stone: we create an important condition for running more trains, and it helps telecom providers and transporters to ensure that all those people in the train will soon have even better mobile coverage.“

Ed Boerema, Managing Director Cellnex Netherlands continues: “The digitization of the railways is not only important for the Netherlands, but is also a spearhead of the EU (“Green Deal”). As market leader in Europe, Cellnex is involved in railway projects as a neutral telecom infrastructure provider in various countries. We are happy to use the knowledge and experience of our colleagues at home and abroad to support ProRail in realizing its ambitions. We therefore look forward to a pleasant and long-term relationship in which we jointly build a sustainable track that is ready for the future. “


About Cellnex

Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of more than 128,000 sites, of which approximately 71,000 are already operative, and the rest in the process of finalisation or planned roll-outs up to 2030. Cellnex operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Poland.

Cellnex Netherlands owns 800 masts and 24 telecom & data towers in the Netherlands and provides broadcasting services for FM and DAB+ radio.

Cellnex’s business is structured in three major areas: telecommunications infrastructure services; audiovisual broadcasting networks, security and emergency service networks and solutions for smart urban infrastructure and services management (Smart cities and the “Internet of Things” (IoT)).


About ProRail

As railway operator, ProRail is responsible for the maintenance, renewal, expansion and safety of the Dutch railway network. As an independent party, ProRail divides the space on 7,000 kilometers of track, arranges all train traffic and builds and operates railway stations. This is done with a focus on our society and with an eye for the future.


About VolkerWessels Telecom

VolkerWessels Telecom designs, builds, manages and maintains telecom infrastructure that enable multiple and complex communication flows. By offering an integrated approach and offering end-to-end solutions, they provide a complete service for the market and contribute to innovation throughout the entire chain.

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