Germany to Cover Rural Areas with €1.1 Billion EU Scheme
Germany pushed forward with plans to fund 5,000 masts in areas with severely limited mobile coverage, after the European Commission signed-off the €1.1 billon scheme. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) stated the government planned to support coverage improvements in areas either currently served by just 2G signals or with no service at all.
Cash will be used to fund masts and associated supporting infrastructure including power lines and fibre backhaul. BMVI said the newly-funded sites would be available for use by all operators and are ideal for the introduction of 5G. It added each location would be required to deliver 4G coverage from at least one operator. A specifically set up unit will be charged with sourcing appropriate sites for the new masts, with its first report expected in July.
“The goal of nationwide mobile communications has been firmly agreed and is now within reach,” minister in charge of BMVI Andreas Scheuer said, adding the improvements would allow citizens to “make calls throughout Germany without interruption, mobile work without a loading bar and [provide] the basis for high-performance mobile communications with 5G”. Complementary schemes include a pact by the country’s operators to partner on the construction of 6,000 sites in rural areas.