German operators fill 2,000 4G coverage gaps - Mobile World Live

German operators fill 2,000 4G coverage gaps

23 MAR 2022

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone Germany announced they closed more than 2,000 4G coverage gaps in the country as part of ongoing efforts to improve mobile network connectivity through various collaborative agreements including network sharing.

In a statement, the operators noted they plan to close more than 3,000 so-called 4G grey spots under an agreement signed a year ago, with more locations to be addressed by the middle of the year.

Grey spots are defined as areas in which not all operators can offer their customers mobile network access. These areas often pose financial challenges around setting up and operating separate infrastructure using an operator’s own network technology.

The German operators have been tackling coverage gaps through the deployment of multi-operator core network (MOCN) technology which allows access nodes to be shared between two or more operators.

Deutsche Telekom reiterated network sharing will remain limited to selected rural areas, with each operator continuing to invest in its own infrastructure in more competitive areas.

In addition to Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom also collaborated with Telefonica Deutschland on closing grey spots in several hundred sites.

Vodafone formed a separate agreement with Telefonica.

The trio joined forces in 2019 to coordinate construction of 6,000 new sites to close so-called white spots, areas where no operator is present.

In mid-2021, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) stated more than 99.9 per cent of households and 97.5 per cent of the nation’s territory had access to LTE networks.

This week, BMDV unveiled a new Gigabit Strategy which, among other things, aims to increase the pace of 5G network deployment by speeding permission approval processes for mobile masts.

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Anne Morris

Anne Morris is a freelance journalist and contributes news and analysis to Mobile World Live.

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