Move signals desire by energy provider to move into the mobile network infrastructure space with a focus on tackling “white spots”
German energy provider E.ON, has announced plans to convert electrical power pylons across Germany into radio masts for the 4G and 5G network. The company, already established in the fibre market through its e.discom subsidiary, plans to use its existing infrastructure with over 100,000 high and medium voltage masts that can also be used as radio masts. Rooftops, properties and land owned by E.ON is also included in the planning process. Where conversion is possible for technical reasons, new construction of additional radio masts is planned.
A subsidiary, E.ON TowerCo has been established to oversee the plans, and is preparing a number of pilot projects near motorways and railways, in order to improve service on traffic routes. The first projects are expected to begin in 2022, with the company also in discussion with several mobile network operators around the projects.
“We are using our existing infrastructure to improve mobile communications in Germany in order to eliminate ‘white spots’ in network coverage quickly and cost-effectively. Combining existing power poles with mobile communications facilities is also more sustainable than building new ones. Stable mobile coverage is also an important factor in value creation, especially in rural regions,” says Bernd Böddeling, Senior Vice President at E.ON SE, responsible for the German network business.
The use of existing infrastructure is aimed at helping to overcome “white-spots”, and with no permit required needed to use existing electrical pylons, in contrast to the months it can take for approval and construction of radio masts, and once appropriate modifications have been made, remote areas will be served much more quickly than they are current existing infrastructure.
Mobile network infrastructure and overcoming "white-spots" to deliver greater connectivity are hot topics in Germany at the moment, and are covered in-depth at Connected Germany which is being held in Mainz on December 7-8 2021.