Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as the Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA) is reviewing reports submitted by mobile network operators (MNOs) to determine whether they met the coverage requirements of the 2019 multi-band spectrum auction. These include an obligation to provide mobile data speeds of at least 100Mbps to 98% of households in each federal state by the end of 2022, as well as supplying all federal motorways, the most important federal roads and the major rail routes with those speeds. In addition, 1,000 5G base stations were required to be set up by end-2022, plus 500 base stations in underserved ‘white spots’ areas.
According to their own information, Telekom Deutschland, Telefonica Deutschland and Vodafone Germany all claim they fulfilled the household coverage requirements, while traffic routes are almost completely supplied with 100Mbps. Where these targets could not be fulfilled, operators have blamed delays on a lack of building permits, a need for third parties involvement, a lack of public acceptance for new cell phone sites, and nature conservation requirements. The trio largely achieved the obligation to activate 1,000 5G base stations, although newcomer 1&1 did not meet this target on time.
The FNA is currently reviewing the information provided by the operators and will conduct its own measurements by the end of March. The regulator will then decide on whether each company has fulfilled the coverage requirements of their mobile spectrum licences.
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