09.12.2021

Federal Network Agency publishes network coverage with 5G

The Federal Network Agency updates its map of mobile network coverage in Germany and includes 5G data for the first time.

5G coverage

According to data from the Federal Network Agency, by the end of October 2021, 53 per cent of land area in Germany was already covered with the latest communication standard 5G by at least one provider.

The 3.6 GHz radio frequencies auctioned in 2019 exclusively for 5G use are initially being implemented in urban areas by all network operators. This means that extremely high data rates will only be available in towns and cities to start with.

In order to provide 5G coverage in more areas, network operators Telekom and Vodafone in particular are simultaneously implementing so-called dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS). This involves using the existing 4G infrastructure for 5G as well and splitting the mobile radio spectrum between the two technologies depending on demand.

4G and 3G coverage

About 96 per cent of land area is presently covered with the currently dominant communication standard 4G (LTE) by at least one mobile network operator.

The switch-off of 3G technology which began at the start of the year is almost complete. Data collection at the end of October 2021 shows that 13.3 per cent of land area was still covered with 3G. Telekom and Vodafone completely switched off their 3G networks in summer. Telefónica will most likely have done so by the end of the year. The frequencies made available will be used for the higher capacity 4G and 5G networks.

The switch-off of the 3G network has had no negative impact on the coverage situation. The proportion of land area with white or grey spots is respectively declining and is about 3.9 per cent for white and about 6.8 per cent for grey spots. White spots are areas with no mobile broadband coverage. In grey spots, there is only one network operator providing mobile broadband. The proportion of land area with dead spots, i.e. with no mobile communications coverage at all has also slightly decreased and equals 0.36 per cent.

Mobile broadband monitoring by the Federal Network Agency

As part of its mobile broadband monitoring, the Federal Network Agency collects coverage data from the network operators and assesses its plausibility by comparing it with the results from users of the dead spot app as well as with data from its own test and measurement service.

In compliance with the requirements of the mobile network strategy, the Federal Network Agency is systematically monitoring the coverage of the mobile network providers. This is also embodied in the amended Telecommunications Act.

The data is regularly updated and published at www.breitband-monitor.de/mobilfunkmonitoring.