By the end of December, at least 98 percent of households are to be supplied with bandwidths of at least 100 megabits. Vodafone has now achieved the goal. There is still a need to catch up in other areas.

According to its own statements, the cell phone network operator Vodafone fulfilled a state expansion obligation two weeks before the deadline expired. In all federal states, at least 98 percent of households are supplied with bandwidths of 100 or more megabits per second, the telecommunications company said on Monday in Düsseldorf.

At the beginning of November, the company had still missed this target in three federal states, after which the expansion made rapid progress. Vodafone operates a good 26,000 cell phone stations nationwide. 1054 new 4G/LTE systems were added this year or were technically upgraded.

The deadline expires at the end of December

The obligation to expand comes from the 2019 frequency auction. By the end of December, each of the three network operators must reach the 98 percent target in each federal state. This is relatively easy in city states, but a challenge in territorial states with sparsely populated parts of the country. A letter from the Federal Network Agency revealed last month that the three network operators Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and, above all, Telefónica still had a lot to do. At the time, all three companies assured that they would comply with the requirement in good time. Vodafone is now the first operator to publicly announce that it has achieved this key expansion goal.

Still 500 white spots in Germany

However, the three network operators will possibly miss another part of the comprehensive expansion obligations: by the end of the year they have to close 500 white spots – ie areas in which not a single network operator has yet offered 100 megabits per second. When asked how far along they were, a Vodafone spokesman said they were making “noticeable progress” in closing the white spots.

The information on compliance with the expansion targets comes from the telecommunications companies themselves. After the deadline, the Federal Network Agency will review the company information in the coming year.

The network operators rely on the 4G/LTE radio standard to meet the said 98 percent coverage. Separately, they are expanding their 5th mobile generation (5G) network, which enables even faster transmission of large amounts of data. With 5G, Vodafone now has household coverage of 80 percent. Telekom recently announced a value of 94 percent and Telefónica (O2) of 75 percent.