Future available spectrum
Position paper on the provision of the 800 MHz, 1 800 MHz and 2 600 MHz spectrum for the rollout of digital infrastructures
The current usage rights for spectrum in the bands at 800 MHz, 1 800 MHz and 2 600 MHz will be expiring at the end of 2025.
The Bundesnetzagentur's position paper sets out its initial assessment of the next steps. The starting point is an indication of spectrum scarcity, which is an argument in favour of awarding the spectrum by means of an auction. To relieve the demand situation in the 800 MHz band, a spectrum swap with the 900 MHz band is proposed. A series of proven and new measures are also presented that, alternatively or in combination, should lead to an improvement in coverage. Various means of promoting competition at the service level are weighed up.
The Bundesnetzagentur is presenting the position paper for public consultation.
Responses may be submitted until 21 November 2022. Please note that the responses must be in German.
An English version of the position paper will be made available in the near future. A translated summary of the positions is available now.
In case of divergent interpretation of the German and English text, the German text shall prevail.
Position paper 2022 (pdf / 2 MB)
Overview of positions 2022 (English) (pdf / 85 KB)
Additional explanations on position paper 2022 (English) (pdf / 183 KB)
January 2022 - Points of orientation and demand survey
Points of orientation and demand survey 2022 (pdf / 1 MB)
Stellungnahmen zu den Orientierungspunkten 2022 (zip / 49 MB) (German only)
June 2021 - Principles and scenarios
Case Szenarios 2021 (pdf / 348 KB)
Stellungnahmen zum Szenarienpapier 2021 (Stand 08.10.2021) (zip / 29 MB) (German only)
August 2020 - Spectrum compass 2020
Spectrum Compass 2020 (pdf / 566 KB)
Stellungnahmen zum Frequenzkompass 2020 (zip / 11 MB)(German only)
Previous frequency auctions and other procedures
Spectrum award 2015 (700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1,5 GHz)
The Award of spectrum in the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1.5 GHz bands for mobile/fixed communications networks ended on June 19, 2015 after 181 auction rounds with a total revenue of 5.1 billion Euro.
All three companies (Telefónica Deutschland GmbH & Co. OHG, Telekom Deutschland GmbH and Vodafone GmbH) were successful in bidding for spectrum in line with their business models.
In total 270 MHz of spectrum from the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1500 MHz and 1800 MHz bands have been awarded. The spectrum at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz provided the basis for establishing the mobile communications network as it is today, especially nationwide mobile voice communication, and the intention is that it should also be used in the future for broadband internet access.
Frequencies in the 700 MHz band have so far been used for terrestrial television. The switch from DVB-T to DVB-T2 means that they will be freed up and can be used for mobile broadband. Network operators will be able to roll out high speed internet using relatively few base stations to those areas that are currently under-served. The Bundesnetzagentur's goal is to use these frequencies to achieve almost complete nationwide provision of the population with broadband internet access – as is already the case with mobile voice telephony. For this reason the frequency usage rights include a coverage obligation of 98% of the population.
Decision (pdf / 2 MB)
Spectrum award 2010 (800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2 GHz and 2,6 GHz)
Outcome of the auction
The award of spectrum in the bands 800 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.0 GHz and 2.6 GHz for wireless access for the provision of telecommunications services, which began on 12 April 2010 in Mainz, ended on 20 May after 224 rounds of bidding. All four qualified companies (namely Vodafone D2 GmbH, Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG, Telekom Deutschland GmbH and Erste MVV Mobilfunk Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH (E-Plus)) have acquired some spectrum.
The four companies have therefore been able to double the amount of their existing spectrum.
Presentation - Outcome of the auction (pdf / 245 KB)
President's Chamber Decision of 12 October 2009
Decision of the President's Chamber - TRANSLATION (pdf / 517 KB)
Other procedures and documents
Merger of E-Plus and Telefónica
In connection with the European Commission’s approval under competition law of the merger between the mobile operators Telefónica Deutschland and E–Plus the Bundesnetzagentur has published a decision on the frequency regulation aspects of the merger, in accordance with section 55(7) and (8) of the Telecommunications Act (TKG).
The decision specifies the following measures:
- return of 900/1800 MHz spectrum by Telefónica / E-Plus before the expiry date of 31 December 2015 and close in time to reallocation of the so-called GSM spectrum (Project 2016)
in conjunction with
- a subsequent examination of the post-merger spectrum distribution in light of all known facts (most notably the 900/1800 MHz reallocation).
Decision regarding the frequency regulation aspects of the merger between Telefónica and E-Plus (pdf / 813 KB)