Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as Bundesnetzagentur) has published for consultation its ‘points of orientation’ for the future award of mobile spectrum. The consultation is combined with an initial survey of the future demand for spectrum for mobile communications ahead of the expiry of frequency usage rights in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands at the end of 2025. The points of orientation describe the circumstances relevant to the future provision of the spectrum and also present aspects needing clarification and considerations on the duration of the spectrum usage rights, the competitive independence of the fourth mobile network operator (MNO), competition-related and coverage obligations, and the promotion of cooperation. The aim of the initial demand survey is to examine signs of possible spectrum scarcity, which is an important aspect for the future award proceedings. The responses anticipated from the market participants will form a base upon which to determine the next steps for an objective, transparent and non-discriminatory process for the provision of the spectrum.
‘We need to set the pace for the spread of digital technology. Broadband rollout needs to pick up speed and dead spots need to be eliminated. At present, the spectrum below 1GHz is particularly key to delivering mobile broadband to rural communities. We are now taking the next step,’ said the FNA’s President Jochen Homann.
The deadline for the submission of comments on the points of orientation and companies’ forecast spectrum requirements is 21 March 2022.