Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Services

Spectrum for wireless access for the provision of telecommunications services

Future available spectrum

Points of orientation and demand survey for the provision of the 800 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum for the rollout of digital infrastructures

The current usage rights for spectrum in the bands at 800 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2.6 GHz will be expiring at the end of 2025. The Bundesnetzagentur has developed points of orientation on the basis of the responses to the scenario paper with a view to ensuring continuity of coverage and to giving the companies concerned and other affected parties the necessary planning and investment certainty.

The points of orientation are intended to describe the circumstances relevant to the decision-making process and formulate areas where clarification is needed. They are therefore combined with an initial demand survey. The aim of this is to form a base upon which to determine the next steps for an objective, transparent and non-discriminatory process for the provision of spectrum. The aim of this demand survey is to examine signs of possible spectrum scarcity.

The deadline for comments (Stellungnahmen) was 21 March 2022.

The points of orientation and demand survey in English is available to download below. The German version is binding.

Points of orientation and demand survey for the provision of the 800 MHz, 1 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum for the rollout of digital infrastructures (pdf / 1 MB)

Stellungnahmen zu den Orientierungspunkten 2022 (zip / 49 MB) (German only)

Principles and scenarios for the provision of the 800 MHz, 1.8 GHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum

Improving broadband coverage in Germany is closely linked to making suitable spectrum available for rolling out high-performance mobile networks.

The spectrum usage rights in the bands at 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz and some of the usage rights in the band at 1.8 GHz will be expiring at the end of 2025. It is therefore necessary to find out as soon as possible how best to provide the freed-up spectrum for use from 2026.

The Bundesnetzagentur's focus is on improving broadband coverage, particularly in rural areas.

The Bundesnetzagentur is consulting on its principles and scenarios for the provision of the spectrum with the aim of exploring the next possible steps.

The deadline for comments (Stellungnahmen) was 23 August 2021.

Szenarios paper 2021 (pdf / 348 KB)

Stellungnahmen zum Szenarienpapier 2021 (Stand 08.10.2021) (zip / 29 MB) (German only)

Spectrum compass 2020

Mobile communications account for a key proportion of telecommunications traffic and mobile data traffic is growing. High-speed mobile networks are needed to manage this growth. Suitable spectrum is a fundamental resource for these mobile networks.

The "Spectrum compass 2020" presents initial considerations on the future availability of spectrum for mobile communications in light of the fact that spectrum usage rights in the frequency bands relevant to mobile communications at 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz will be expiring on 31 December 2025. The expiry of spectrum usage rights must not lead to a standstill in network roll-out. The spectrum must therefore be re-provided at an early stage. Decisions need to be taken as to which spectrum should be included in the future award proceedings and which conditions should be attached to the spectrum usage rights. The Bundesnetzagentur will therefore open proceedings for the future provision of spectrum in good time before spectrum usage rights expire in order to create maximum planning and investment certainty for companies.

The intention behind the "Spectrum compass 2020" is to enable all interested stakeholders to take part at an early stage in the discussion about the provision of newly available spectrum for mobile communications. As the next step, the Bundesnetzagentur plans to look closely at various options for providing the mobile spectrum.

The Bundesnetzagentur asked interested stakeholders to submit comments (Stellungnahmen) on the "Spectrum compass 2020" in German by 23 October 2020.

Spectrum Compass 2020 (pdf / 566 KB)

Stellungnahmen zum Frequenzkompass 2020 (zip / 11 MB)

Previous frequency auctions and other procedures

5G auction 2019 (2 GHz and 3.6 GHz band)

The Award of spectrum in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands (5G bands) ended on June 12, 2019 after 497 auction rounds with a total revenue of 6.55 billion Euro.

Four companies participated in the auction: Drillisch Netz AG, Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG, Telekom Deutschland GmbH and Vodafone GmbH. All participants successfully bid on spectrum.

The frequency blocks were mostly auctioned in an abstract manner with regard to their location in the spectrum. Only the top and bottom blocks in the 3.6 GHz band were auctioned off specifically.
Following the conclusion of the auction and the presentation of the award notices, the abstract blocks acquired have now been allotted specifically in accordance with the procedure detailed in the President's Chamber decision of 26 November 2018 (BK1-17/001, subsection IV.4.2).

Spectrum diagram after the auction

Spectrum diagram in the areas 700 MHz to 3,8 GHz (png / 352 KB)

The auction was held as an open, ascending, simultaneous multiround auction.

Relevant decisions

5G award - decisions I & II of 24 October 2018 (pdf / 526 KB)
5G award - decisions III & IV of 26 November 2018 (pdf / 4 MB)

Draft Consultation - Award of 2 GHz & 3.6 GHz Bands (pdf / 300 KB)
Information - 5G Award (pdf / 50 KB)
Responses are available only in German: Stellungnahmen zum Konsultationsentwurf (zip / 34 MB)

Key Elements and Identification of Demand (pdf / 278 KB)
Responses are available only in German: Stellungnahmen zu den Eckpunkten (zip / 40 MB)

Points Of Orientation (pdf / 1 MB)
Responses are available only in German: Stellungnahmen zu den Orientierungspunkten - Auktion 2019 (zip / 37 MB)

Frequenz Kompass (pdf / 305 KB)
Responses are available only in German: Stellungnahmen zum Frequenz-Kompass - Auktion 2019 (zip / 14 MB)

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)