Mobile phone antennas in Brandenburg
Photo: Soeren Stache / dpa
The so-called “white spots” will remain for the time being.
This is what 4G dead spots are called colloquially - and despite investments by the major operators, none of them will meet the existing expansion requirement.
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing is therefore increasing the pressure on the network operators.
The FDP politician told the dpa news agency: “There can be a variety of reasons for this, for example because delivery delays, citizens’ initiatives or lengthy approval processes are slowing down expansion.
The reasons must now be discussed in detail, together with the mobile industry.
Where network operators are responsible, however, we believe that legal options should also be used to sanction delays that are self-inflicted.«
The Federal Network Agency would have to impose sanctions.
The authority checks the supply requirements.
Violations can result in severe penalties.
However, whether these will actually be imposed can at least be doubted (more on this here).
The Advisory Board of the authority meets this Monday.
Wissing said that when it comes to digital connectivity, Germany should no longer be mediocrity, but should play at the top.
»We have to close dead spots in mobile communications as quickly as possible.
The network operators are investing a lot of money and pushing ahead with the expansion.«
According to the Federal Network Agency, around 97 percent of the area is covered with 4G.
Current figures show that coverage by the network operators with the latest 5G mobile communications standard was around 79 percent in October 2022 and thus increased by almost 50 percent compared to the previous year.
Reception should be established in 500 white spots
"However, it is already becoming apparent that the telecommunications industry will probably not be able to meet the coverage requirements by the end of 2022," says Wissing, who is also responsible for digital.
»In the gigabit strategy, we have stipulated that we create positive framework conditions in order to accelerate expansion.
We want to simplify and standardize construction law, and here it is the responsibility of the federal states to quickly adapt the state laws accordingly.
The state and business must pull together to create the digital infrastructure that a modern country needs for the digital age.«
According to a report by the Federal Network Agency to its advisory board, none of the three established operators Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica are likely to meet the expansion requirements for 4G dead spots.
In the 2019 frequency auction, the companies committed to building new radio stations in 500 previously unoccupied areas by the end of 2022.
According to current reports, Telefónica (O2) is only at 45, Telekom at 28 and Vodafone at 12. The companies want to give each other access, they are each responsible for a third of the white spots.