The federal government is apparently not in the picture about the status of the mobile network expansion along the motorways and ICE routes.

"The Federal Network Agency's review of the coverage requirement along the main traffic routes has shown that these are fully supplied with LTE," writes the Digital Ministry of Department Head Volker Wissing (FDP) in response to a parliamentary question from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, the FAS present.

Ralph Bollman

Correspondent for economic policy and deputy head of business and “Money & More” for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper in Berlin.

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LTE describes the 4G standard in mobile communications, which is intended to enable fast surfing and trouble-free phone calls.

The network operators had actually committed themselves to this, of course every car driver and rail passenger knows about the existing gaps in the network.

At the same time, the ministry admitted that it had not yet checked the status of network coverage across the board.

"To date, measurements have been taken on a total of approx. 2550 km along the motorway as part of the review of the coverage requirements," writes the ministry.

That is not even a fifth of the German autobahn network, which covers a total of 13,200 kilometers.

However, it is technically possible with the available human and material resources to check up to 5,000 kilometers of roads per week.

Nevertheless, the review is only carried out "in selected reference regions with different settlement structures, the selection of which gives a sufficiently representative picture".

The mobile phone coverage is therefore not fully recorded, instead the ministry refers to the "Funkloch-App", which went into operation a good three years ago, with which private users can report any gaps in surfing and telephoning.

This has met with criticism from the opposition. "When it comes to expanding mobile communications, the new federal government still seems to be working in the fog," said Nadine Schön, deputy chairwoman of the Union faction in the Bundestag. "People continue to experience disconnections on ICE routes and on the autobahn." At the latest when further mobile frequencies are awarded, the new federal government must focus on the right coverage requirements and speed up the expansion across the country. The digital policy spokesman for the parliamentary group, Reinhard Brandl, criticized that the new government had “not yet arrived in reality”. In addition, the cities should not be forgotten. "Continuous mobile phone coverage in subways and underground suburban trains could make using local public transport more attractive," said Brandl.

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