Additional national LTE expansion:Network operators agree on national mobile network pact
With today's signing of the national mobile network pact, another important step has been taken jointly by politicians and network operators to advance Germany's digital transformation. In the summer of 2018, the federal government, local authorities and network operators signed a declaration of intent on how the LTE expansion in Germany can be driven forward. Telefónica Deutschland is firmly convinced that the digitization of Europe's largest economy can only succeed with the close cooperation of all parties involved. The signed agreement includes in particular that the network operators will commit themselves to very ambitious expansion targets in the coming years, both in terms of area and in previously unserved areas. In concrete terms: Telefónica is committed to building 333 additional mobile radio sites in white spots by the end of 2021. By the end of 2020, 99% of households are to be supplied with LTE nationwide and by the end of 2021 per federal state.
The O2 network will become even faster and more widespread
CEO Markus Haas: "The pact concluded today is good news for our 45 million customers in the O2 network. Working shoulder to shoulder with politicians and industry, we have created the conditions for bringing Germany's largest and most modern mobile communications network even faster and further into the country". In doing so, we are making a significant contribution to closing white spots in rural areas and to further improving the user experience for our customers. In return, politicians have committed themselves to promoting the industry's ability to invest. This includes, in particular, improved payment terms for the 5G frequencies auctioned, which give the company a financial advantage in terms of significant millions of euros. Deviating from the payment procedure originally defined by the Federal Network Agency as part of the frequency allocation 2019, Telefónica can pay the frequency costs based on an installment payment plan without interest spread over several years. The Federal Government offered these improved terms of payment to every successful bidder who in return was willing to enter into additional expansion commitments. "This is a clear signal that the expansion of mobile communications in previously underserved regions is being pushed ahead at full speed," said Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Further steps required
However, it is clear that further steps need to be taken to put Germany at the forefront of digital infrastructure. This includes a viable overall concept for the long-term expansion of the mobile communications infrastructure, supported by all parties involved, for which an investment-promoting framework is needed. No other network operator in Germany is currently expanding LTE technology so rapidly and comprehensively nationwide. 4G is the current and foreseeable standard that will form the backbone of the mobile data infrastructure in terms of concrete customer benefits in the coming years.