Telefonica meets extended deadline to fulfil German coverage requirements

11 Aug 2020

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as the Bundesnetzagentur) has announced that Telefonica Deutschland has now met the interim goal to fulfil the coverage requirements of the 2015 multi-band spectrum auction. Telefonica initially failed to cover at least 40% of 7,600 unserved locations by 30 June 2020 and faced a penalty of EUR600,000 (USD679,000) if the areas were still not covered by the end of July. However, the FNA has now confirmed that Telefonica met this deadline, having put 3,040 LTE stations into operation, and will therefore not be fined. The firm is now required to cover a further 1,900 locations by the end of September.

Meanwhile, the FNA also revealed that Telekom Deutschland (TD) was able to meet its September deadline ahead of schedule. It is now able to supply at least 97% of households with 50Mbps mobile data rates in all federal states, although it is still required to cover the main traffic routes by the end of the year. Vodafone is also obliged to meet the respective September and December coverage deadlines.

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 and TD interim deadlines of the end of June and September in order to completely fulfil the obligations by the end of this year, or face being fined.