BDI President sees no rapid progress in mobile communications expansion

Industry President Dieter Kempf sees little chance of rapid progress in mobile communications, especially in rural areas. "I'm afraid that the state of expanding the fast Internet in five years has not improved substantially, especially in rural areas," said Kempf the German Press Agency. "We need a system change," he demanded. A state mobile phone company does not help much either. "Instead of pulling money out of the market with expensive auctions, it must be about making investments in the development of networks more attractive."

The president of the Federal Association of German Industry (BDI) said that it had already made a fundamental error at the UMTS auction. "Exclusively frequencies were auctioned off, and it would have been better to auction off unprofitable areas via a negative auction, with concrete expansion commitments."

The Minister of Finance had indeed cashed billions for the federal budget. "But companies have focused on investing where it's profitable, and as a result, there's a patchwork quilt today, and the same mistake has been made at the 5G auction."

Although there are expansion obligations for fast mobile communication along highways or railway lines. "But it does not solve the basic problem of how better it is to supply rural areas, not 5G but 4G, so we should consider building more masts in rural areas instead of burying cables. That saves a lot of money, about three quarters of the construction costs. "

In June, 5G frequency blocks had been auctioned to four providers – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefónica and Drillisch. They paid a total of 6.55 billion euros. With the end of the auction, an important milestone was reached for the introduction of the fifth mobile generation for the fast Internet (5G). The money goes to the federal government, which wants to put it into digitization – with it, for example, broadband development in the countryside should be promoted.

Thanks to the ultra-fast standard, Germany's industry wants to remain globally competitive. The download is about 100 times faster compared to 4G / LTE, the latency – ie the response time – is almost in real time. Whether networked production machines and robots or self-driving cars – 5G is considered the key.

After the 5G auction – lower prices, better networks, new applications?


Deutsche Telekom had complained that the 5G auction left a "bitter aftertaste". The result is a damper on grid expansion, as the spectrum is much more expensive than in other countries. Vodafone Germany boss Hannes Ametsreiter criticized, the high costs for the companies are a "disaster for Germany", finally one should rather put the money into the net development.

The heads of the coalition factions had decided to create a new federal mobile communications infrastructure company for the construction of radio masts in unprovoked regions. In the future, the federal government should intervene with the mobile infrastructure company where the economic expansion does not work and there are still white spots.


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