All three of Germany’s mobile operators failed to hit initial 2020 deadlines for 4G coverage, as stipulated by the spectrum 2015 spectrum auction

Back in 2015, the German regulator held a hotly contested 4G spectrum auction, which raised €5.08 billion. Part of the stipulations attached to the auction were that winning operators must provide at least 98% of households across the country with a minimum data rate of 50 Mbps by the 1st of January 2020.

This date came and went, with all three of Germany’s mobile operators – Telefonica Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom, and Vodafone Germany – failing to hit targets by varying degrees. The regulator agreed to extend the deadline to the 31st of December 2020, setting interim targets for the operators and threatening significant financial penalties if these targets were not met. 
Today, the regulator has announced that Telefonica Deutschland had hit its interim target, avoiding a fine of around €600,000. The operator has successfully installed 3,040 LTE base stations before the end of July, with its next target set at a further 1,900 sites by the end of September, and 2,660 sites overall by the end of the year. 
Deutsche Telekom has similarly hit its September deadlines ahead of schedule, now able to supply 97% of homes with the required connectivity, though it still needs to provide connectivity for all of the country’s main traffic routes by the end of the year.
Vodafone Germany shares these targets, but no update about this operator hitting goals early has been forthcoming.
What are the major developments in the German telecoms sector right now? Find out first-hand from the operators at this year’s Connected Germany
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