Vodafone Germany detailed plans to boost 5G coverage along shipping lanes, citing benefits for vessel communications and use of sensors to track freight.

The operator noted two thirds of the country’s internal waterways currently had 5G coverage along them, served by infrastructure in 1,400 locations. Of these, 440 were offering standalone connectivity, which Vodafone is branding 5G+.

Vodafone added many other locations were covered by 4G.

As part of an ongoing drive to support businesses and canal users, Vodafone noted a further 700 construction projects along the routes were planned by mid-2023. Of these, more than half will be focused on providing the latest 5G communications technology.

It claimed the expansion would “enable shipping to continue to have access to the fast real-time network in the future”.

Vodafone noted Germany’s government had identified inland waterways as an environmentally friendly way to transport goods compared with common alternatives.

“A barge can transport a tonne of cargo almost four times as far as a truck with the same energy consumption,” the operator added.

Germany’s federal inland waterways network covers 7,476 kilometers, with around 75 per cent being rivers and the remainder canals.

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