Mobile Communications Standard 5G Stricter Requirements for Network Operators

Ein Servicetechniker arbeitet an einem Mobilfunkmast.

With stricter requirements for frequency auctions for 5G, the German government wants to ensure that providers achieve a higher level of coverage. Not everyone is enthusiastic about it.

The federal government wants to make network operators more responsible for licenses for the ultra-fast mobile technology 5G than previously planned. In the future, the operators will make fast internet possible not only on federal highways, but also on country roads. This was explained by Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) on Tuesday at the request of the German Press Agency, after he had met with the head of the Federal Network Agency, Jochen Homann, the evening before.

"Not only the metropolises should benefit from digitization, but also the rural regions", said Scheuer. This is the only way to achieve equal living conditions. At an event of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) in Berlin on Tuesday evening, Scheuer said that a great deal of progress had been made. It is also about people who do not live in big cities. Local networks should also be made possible with 5G - this is a demand from business associations, for example.

High Speed, Short Range

At the end of November, the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) intends to define the allocation rules on the basis of which 5G frequencies are to be auctioned next year. In an earlier draft of the allocation rules, country roads were explicitly excluded from the 5G expansion obligation, as this would be disproportionately expensive. 5G masts offer immensely fast data transmission, but their range is low - for wide area coverage significantly more 5G masts would have to be installed than with systems in the previous 4G standard.

The telecommunications industry therefore criticized the new course taken by the federal government. The industry said that a "forest of masts" was threatening to emerge that was almost unaffordable.

Second change of the past allocation rules: In the future, not only ICE lines, but also other train lines will be connected to the fast mobile network.

Compared to the 4G technology, the 5th generation (5G) of cellular mobile communications is many times faster. The standard is especially important for industry because it is a basis for autonomous driving or telemedicine applications. According to experts, however, 5G should be of little relevance for private customers - for example, 4G should be sufficient for streaming videos in normal resolution.