Telefonica misses interim deadline to fulfil German coverage requirements

10 Jul 2020

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as the Bundesnetzagentur) has announced that Telefonica Deutschland failed to meet the first interim deadline to fulfil the coverage requirements of the 2015 multi-band spectrum auction. Telefonica failed to cover at least 40% of 7,600 unserved locations by 30 June 2020 and faces a penalty of EUR600,000 (USD679,000) if they are still not covered by the end of this month. Telefonica attributed the delay to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to restrictions in the supply chain.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, earlier this year the FNA completed the review of reports submitted by mobile network operators (MNOs) to determine whether they met the coverage requirements of the 2015 spectrum auction. These included an obligation to provide mobile data speeds of at least 50Mbps to 98% of households nationwide and 97% of households in each federal state by 1 January 2020, as well as fully supplying the main traffic routes. All three MNOs did not fully meet the coverage requirements on time but the watchdog gave Telefonica, Vodafone Germany and Telekom Deutschland until the end of this year to fulfil the obligations, or face being fined. The companies were also given interim deadlines in June and September in order to counteract further delays as early as possible.