DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH has established its 30,000th radio site in Germany. This underlines the company’s role as the biggest German provider of radio infrastructure and one of the largest tower companies in Europe.
"Nobody in Germany builds as much as we do," says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CEO of Deutsche Funkturm. "Particularly in rural areas and bearing in mind the licensing requirements of the previous frequency auction, our roll-out is making a significant contribution to achieving future-proof mobile communications infrastructure in Germany." The conditions imposed in the allocation of frequencies stipulate, among other things, that by the end of 2022 mobile communications providers must supply at least 98% of households in each German federal state and ensure internet speeds of at least 100 Mbit/s for all federal motorways and railways that have more than 2,000 passengers per day. This can only be achieved through targeted, intensive expansion of the infrastructure.
"We have ‘built’ our status as the leader in Germany and as one of the biggest tower companies in Europe, not through acquisitions, but through organic growth in the truest sense of the word," says Mr Jacobfeuerborn. Deutsche Funkturm primarily builds the mobile communications network for Deutsche Telekom, but, as an independent tower company, it also offers its mast sites and towers to all other mobile network operators for shared use. "White spots (areas with no coverage) pose an economic challenge, especially in rural areas, and require alternative approaches. The construction of parallel infrastructure is neither financially feasible nor welcomed by the local authorities," says Mr Jacobfeuerborn. "Therefore, by sharing our sites we can help to collectively broaden coverage in these areas in particular." Today, the company already markets half of its mast sites to multiple mobile network operators, supporting the recently agreed expansion cooperation between Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica in Germany.
Faster mobile communications expansion
Outside inner-city areas, Deutsche Funkturm primarily uses spun concrete and steel lattice masts in its expansion of mobile infrastructure. The company builds its sites with enough static capacity to host antennas for various mobile network operators and with capacity for additional radio technology, such as 5G. The construction of a new site, starting with the search for a suitable area and ending with the handover to a mobile network operator, can take from a few months up to several years. In particular, the search for new locations and the current building application process can massively delay the roll-out of mobile communications. The company has published a map of delayed sites on http://www.dfmg.de.
In August, Deutsche Funkturm and the Free State of Saxony signed an agreement on the use of state properties to speed up the expansion of mobile networks. In addition, a joint working group has been created to accelerate the building application process. "By making suitable state properties available more quickly, we can build future-proof mobile communications infrastructure for all mobile network operators in Saxony," says Mr Jacobfeuerborn. The aim is to reach similar agreements with other German federal states, cities and local authorities.
On the lookout for spaces to set up radio infrastructure
Deutsche Funkturm is constantly on the lookout for suitable areas to host its mobile communications sites. Generally, the company rents properties or roof areas for at least 15 years, paying rent at the market rate. Visit http://www.dfmg.de for more information about site requirements and how to offer suitable sites.
Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CEO of DFMG Deutsche Funkturm GmbH will be speaking at the Connected Germany conference on the 20 November 2019.
Connected Germany is organised by Total Telecom and takes place in Frankfurt on the 19-20 November. Find out more at www.totaltele.com/connectedgermany