The federal government wants to invest more than one billion euros in mobile network expansion. The Federal Cabinet decided at a conference in Merseburg a corresponding mobile strategy. As Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (CSU) announced, it should cover 99.95 percent of households and cover 97.5 percent in Germany. As early as Sunday, on the first day of its Digital Cabinet meeting, the government had agreed to have 5,000 additional mobile masts deployed in rural areas.
Chancellery head Helge Braun (CDU) acknowledged that the current coverage with a mobile network is only 93.94 percent. This annoys the people because of the disconnections about when driving. The promised by the federal government additional 1.1 billion euros for mobile expansion would now come from the proceeds of the auction of 5G licenses.
Merkel criticizes slow implementation
Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out after the exam that there was still a lot of work ahead of the German government. There is currently no shortage of funds for investment, Merkel said. The problem is that planning periods are too long. It takes sometimes a year and a half to build a radio mast. In other countries, this is much faster.
On reservations in the population because of additional exposure to radiation during the construction of new radio masts, Merkel said that she could say to all citizens who are concerned that the government places health protection at the very top.
According to the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, local residents do not have to worry about damage to health caused by mobile masts as long as the limit values are complied with. "The health effects of mobile communications are now well researched, so there is no evidence of negative health effects below thresholds," said Inge Paulini, president of the agency.
State-owned enterprises should support expansion
Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said that the government wanted to ensure that there was better quality in mobile communications. To this end, decisions taken in recent years have been corrected. Scholz called tougher conditions for the mobile operators for a nationwide coverage in the course of the 5G network.
As early as spring, the governing coalition had agreed to set up a mobile communications infrastructure company to support the expansion and, if necessary, to award contracts themselves. The company is said to be set up as a subsidiary of the state-owned truck toll operator Toll Collect with its own supervisory board. It is to be supported by an advisory board composed of representatives of the federal, state and local authorities. The infrastructure company is scheduled to commence operations in the third quarter of 2020.
Whether the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei may participate in the 5G expansion, was recently unclear. Huawei is suspected of using its espionage business for China. The US government, for example, has blacklisted the company. Parts of the federal government fear that if Huawei were excluded from expanding the German 5G mobile network, China could react with sanctions against German companies in the country.