The German telecoms regulator (Bundesnetzagentur) has confirmed that the country’s mobile operators have met coverage obligation in the 800 MHz band in all federal states in areas with limited broadband coverage. Having rolled out broadband technologies in the priority areas, T-Mobile, Vodafone D2 and Telefónica O2 are now able to freely use the frequencies they purchased in the 800 MHz band in all federal states.
Mobile operators have now also met the coverage obligation in the 800 MHz band in Brandenburg and therefore throughout Germany. The three companies, Telekom Deutschland GmbH, Vodafone D2 GmbH and Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG are now able to freely use the frequencies they purchased in the 800 MHz band in all federal states.
"Just two years after the frequencies were awarded, the coverage requirements have been met in all federal states with limited broadband coverage. This is a great success and an important step in the government's Broadband Strategy", declared Jochen Homann, Bundesnetzagentur President.
"Great effort was undertaken by the mobile operators in order to achieve this success so quickly. Wireless broadband access is now available in the areas covered. In addition to local companies, consumers in particular reap the benefits of rapid network expansion by mobile operators, as they can now access high-speed internet", emphasised Homann.
Frequencies for wireless network access in the 800 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.0 GHz and 2.6 GHz bands were auctioned in early 2010. Assignments of these 800 MHz frequencies involved progressive coverage and roll-out obligations. Prior to the auction, the federal states cited towns and districts with little or no broadband coverage, which were grouped into four priority levels depending on their number of inhabitants.
When using the 800 MHz frequencies in the states, network operators were obligated to provide broadband connections progressively to the towns and cities, in line with the individual priority levels. Towns and districts with less than 5,000 inhabitants had top priority (level 1) for mobile broadband provision. As soon as this requirement was met in the respective state, the assignees were free to use the 800 MHz frequencies there. All technologies implemented (wireless, DSL, cable etc) were considered when establishing whether the requirement had been met.