Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as the Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA) has presented its final draft for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction for approval by the Advisory Council. The revised draft outlines the terms and conditions of the spectrum sale, including additional coverage obligations. ‘We revised our original draft in light of numerous comments, keeping in mind what is technically, economically and legally possible,’ commented FNA President Jochen Homann, adding: ‘The conditions now also include the supply of rural roads, waterways and railways, in return we have strengthened the possibilities for cooperation between the network operators and provided for a reciprocal crediting of the supply, thus keeping the economic burden on the companies in check.’
The coverage obligations for the 2100MHz and 3.6GHz licence winners include a requirement to supply speeds of a minimum of 100Mbps to at least 98% of households in each state by the end of 2022, as well as all federal highways, and the main roads and railways. By the end of 2024, 5G spectrum holders will be obliged to provide speeds of 100Mbps to all other main roads, while covering the smaller roads, railways, seaports and the main waterways with data rates of at least 50Mbps. Furthermore, each operator will have to set up 1,000 5G base stations by the end of 2022, in addition to 500 base stations in so-called ‘white spot’ unserved rural areas. For any potential newcomers, separate coverage requirements apply.
A final decision is set to be made on 26 November with the auction slated to go ahead in spring 2019.