German regulator licenses 123 private 4G and 5G networks

German regulator licenses 123 private 4G and 5G networks

04 June 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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The German telecoms regulator has issued 123 licences for private 4G and private 5G networks.

Licensees, according to a list published by Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), the regulator, are all for operations in the 3.7-3.8GHz spectrum.

The list, spotted by telecoms consultant Dean Bubley, includes car companies Audi, BMW, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

Private networks are being used largely inside factory buildings and campuses, partly to control machinery, where 5G has its inherent low latency to offer. But three years ago BNetzA also proposed reserving spectrum to cover motorways and federally-maintained highways (Autobahnen and Bundesstraßen). 

In the telecoms industry there is LS Telcom, NTT Data, Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems (pictured) as well as Verizon Germany. Huawei Technologies also has a licence for its office in Düsseldorf.

A substantial number of the licences have been issued to universities and other research organisations, including Fraunhofer institutes. And airports and exhibition centres both feature strongly.

“So far, a total of 126 applications for the allocation of frequencies for local 5G networks and 123 assignments of frequencies for local 5G networks have been granted,” says BNetzA — the Federal Network Agency.

The regulator notes that “information on frequency assignments [is] treated trade and business secrets”, but says that the list is of organisations that have given consent for details to be published.

In a tweet, Bubley challenged the US and UK regulators, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Ofcom respectively, to provide the “same level of transparency”.