5G, 4G, 3G – how good is the current mobile coverage in Germany?

Mobile providers have put 5G into operation and at least half of Germany has access to it. High transmission rates are achieved early on, especially in metropolitan areas.

The expansion of the 5G mobile network in Germany is making good progress. According to data from the Federal Network Agency ( BNetzA), mobile coverage with 5G has grown in Germany. More than 53 percent of the territory of the Federal Republic is already covered by at least one provider with the latest mobile communications standard.

Better data rates are possible with the higher frequencies than with the lower frequencies used by network operators in the area. According to the report, however, particularly high data transmission rates are achieved primarily in metropolitan areas.

The differences in mobile coverage between urban and rural areas have mainly to do with the fact that the radio frequencies in the 3.6 GHz range auctioned in 2019 and used exclusively for 5G will be used first in urban areas. In return, however, the frequency bands used in rural areas have a higher range.

3G almost no longer plays a role in mobile communications coverage

According to the BNetzA, 96 percent of the area in Germany is currently covered by at least one mobile network operator with the currently dominant mobile communications standard 4G (LTE). The predecessor standard UMTS (3G), on the other hand, plays almost no role in domestic mobile coverage in Germany. The shutdown of 3G technology, which began at the start of the year, is almost complete, he said. According to the report, by the end of October 2021, 3G was only available in around 13 percent of the country.

The shutdown of the UMTS network did not have a negative impact on the The Federal Network Agency explained that this has had an impact on mobile coverage in Germany. The area share of white and gray spots is declining in each case and amounts to around 3.9 percent for white spots and around 6.8 percent for gray spots. White patches are areas where no mobile broadband is available at all. In gray patches, only one network operator offers mobile broadband. The proportion of areas with no mobile coverage at all has also decreased slightly to around 0.4 percent.