All German motorways to have 100Mbps on 5G mobile by 2022

19 September 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Germany’s telecoms regulator wants to ensure all autobahns and federal highways have 100Mbps coverage by 5G services by the end of 2022.

In addition the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) says 98% of all households should have 300Mbps service on 5G by the end of 2025. The road requirements specify motorways and federally-maintained highways (Autobahnen and Bundesstraßen). 

The requirements are published in BNetzA’s initial proposals for 5G spectrum allocation, ready for an auction planned for early 2019. The initial auction will cover 2GHz and 3.6GHz, said the regulator.

“Full-scale expansion with 5G technology is already disproportionately expensive, and in the future the cost of further expansion will decrease because there will be more fibre optics and more suitable frequencies for the area,” said BNetzA president Jochen Homann.

At first the regulator will award short-range frequencies, and he said that he expects operators to collaborate to cover underserved areas.

“We’re pushing our supply requirements to the limit of what’s economically reasonable and legally possible,” he said, adding that BNetzA would oblige each vendor to build at least 500 base stations in addition to those covering 5G requirements for major roads and residential users.

“As far as national roaming is concerned, we are opening the door for companies to cooperate in underserved areas,” said Homann.

He said that service providers make an important contribution to competition, but warned: “It is not legally possible to oblige network operators to make their networks available to other providers.” BNetzA hopes companies will negotiate. “We need ambitious but realistic goals,” he said, adding that the regulator could set requirements that were enforceable by courts.

BNetzA’s advisory council will discuss the draft terms of reference and auction rules on Monday 24 September, before consulting with the operators that are likely to take part in the auction.

The regulator will take a final decision in November. “The auction is scheduled for the first quarter of 2019 in Mainz,” it added.

The report, which says that “Germany should be the world leader in digital infrastructure and become the market leader for 5G in Europe,” is available in German here.