BERLIN, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- German government and industry should cooperate in the expansion of the new 5G mobile communications standard, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged during a speech at the Digitising Europe Summit in Berlin on Tuesday.
"We need to find reasonable ways to combine private investment power with governmental support," said Merkel. The government would not be able to supply for the 5G standard on its own. "We want this to happen through private investments," said Merkel.
5G is the fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity. The chancellor added that 5G would not only be about a nationwide coverage in Germany, but also about a "reasonable coverage with 4G", the current mobile communications standard. In some remote regions of Germany "people would already be pleased about a 2G coverage on the country road."
In Germany, the frequencies used for the 5G standard are soon to be auctioned off by the federal network agency (Bundesnetzagentur) in early 2019. Following Vodafone and Telefonica, Germany's largest network operator Deutsche Telekom filed a lawsuit against the Bundesnetzagentur because of "legal uncertainties" and "unrealistic" auction conditions in January.
The network operators are specifically fearing that the initial high investment costs of the 5G technology will hinder profitability as the German government is planning to oblige network operators to make their own network available to competitors if they are the only supplier in certain regions.