Germany’s mobile operators told the country’s regulator they had largely met coverage obligations required in the terms of a 5G spectrum auction in 2019, with authorities set to scrutinise claims by the four players.

In a statement, Bundesnetzagentur noted it had received reports from the local units of Telefonica, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and new entrant 1&1 detailing their progress against mandated targets.

Respective submissions from Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Germany and Telefonica Deutschland asserted they had achieved the household speed target in each state, “almost completely” supplied traffic routes and largely met an obligation for 5G base stations.

There are apparently still some gaps, with missing infrastructure attributed to a range of issues including problems getting permits, difficulties dealing with third parties and nature conservation-related reasons.

New entrant 1&1 was subject to different targets centred on commercial service availability. Its commitment to commission 1,000 5G base stations was apparently not met, though the regulator noted it had provided reasons and expects to achieve this goal during 2023.

The authority plans to assess all submissions, reasons for any delays and conduct network testing to decide whether the obligations had been met. Tests are expected to be completed in March.

Bundesnetzagentur president Klaus Muller said it would “examine the reports very carefully and will also take measurements on site to determine whether the reported coverage is actually available. If the requirements are not met, we will take all available sanctions”.

It also noted there had been “noticeable efforts to comply” by the operators with reports of significant improvements in mobile broadband coverage.

However, the regulator indicated in “some cases, temporary mobile sites have been erected that are to be replaced by mobile phone masts in the future”, adding “there are still some gaps”.