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GSMA criticises Germany’s regulator on 5G conditions

The GSMA, the body for mobile operators, has welcomed the German government’s decision to release the entire 3.4 to 3.8 GHz band (C-band), essential for the future development of 5G services globally. But it warns that some of the currently proposed conditions on the allocation of these frequencies may slow Germany’s 5G future. “Imposing unnecessary conditions that limit mobile operators’ ability and potential to deliver 5G creates a risk for all, industries and citizens alike.” The proposed coverage obligations for the 3.6 GHz band, for example, appear to disregard the laws of physics when it comes to the propagation characteristics of this mid-band spectrum. Although these frequencies can provide very high capacity, they only cover a relatively small area and are not well suited to wide area coverage, unlike spectrum in lower bands. To provide extensive rural coverage of mobile services, a combination of frequencies will be essential. In addition to coverage obligations, the GSMA believes there are other conditions proposed for the award that should be reconsidered by the regulator, Bundesnetzagentur. The current proposal, which includes potential roaming and wholesale obligations attached to the 3.4 to 3.7 GHz band, “is a stark reversal of Bundesnetzagentur’s recent position, and introduces a critical level of uncertainty for operators investing in 5G networks in Germany”. Bundesnetzagentur is also urged to consider the implication that high reserve prices and fees will have on the market. Read more

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

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