This week, Vodafone and Autobahn GmbH announced they are working together to bring 5G to all German motorways by 2028 at the latest.
Building additional masts will close remaining coverage gaps along the country’s motorways, making the network denser and minimising the number of dropped calls. At the same time, the expansion will help develop the autonomous transport of tomorrow by creating the conditions for new mobility applications.
A 5G highway
To ensure the expansion happens quickly, the partnership will simplify and accelerate the search for locations and construction planning. For example, Autobahn GmbH will provide Vodafone with state-owned land for new mast sites, such as at rest areas or in motorway maintenance depots.
By the end of 2026, Vodafone plans to install 150 additional mobile sites with 5G technology along its 13,200-kilometer highway network and an additional 1,000 construction measures will be focused on expanding the capacity of existing mobile communications systems.
“Network expansion along transport routes is and will remain challenging. But it is also clear that anyone who travels by car in this country needs stable mobile phone coverage and must also be able to use the most modern mobile network,” explained Michael Jungwirth, Director Public Policy & External Affairs and Member of the Management Board at Vodafone Germany.
Today, Vodafone Germany already operates more than 6,000 mobile phone sites covering motorway routes and tunnels. Since the end of 2022, more than 3,600 of those mobile phone stations already supply motorists with 5G providing faster, more reliable connections. The new partnership with Autobahn will provide even more comprehensive coverage to Germany’s motorists.
Bringing connectivity to the tracks
Germany’s motorways are just one example of how we’re bringing connectivity to European travellers. In the UK, we’ve been working hard to support Vodafone customers travelling on London’s Underground with connectivity at tube stations.
September saw central stations Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Circus join our seven existing 4G and 5G enabled locations, including Camden Town and Notting Hill Gate, and as of January we now have 56 live 4G locations, of which 32 are also live with 5G connectivity - as well as 18 4G locations - including Westminster and Waterloo.
This means customers can stay connected using mobile data within the ticket halls and in the station tunnels in parts of the Northern, Central and now Elizabeth Lines, complementing our Wi-Fi Underground switch on in April 2023. See the full map with live venues1.
Customers on the tube have already used enough data across Vodafone 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi to send the equivalent of around 1.5 billion WhatsApp messages a day.
Similarly in Italy, we recently announced plans to provide 5G across all metro lines in Rome, backing Europe’s broader digital ambition.
With Telecom Italia (TIM), Iliad and WindTre, Vodafone Italy will switch on 5G for Rome’s subway infrastructure as part of its commitment to support the objectives of the 2030 Digital Agenda and to improve telecommunications services for tourists and locals in the capital.
TIM and Vodafone Italy also switched on 4G and 5G for Milan’s metro line 4 system in 2023 through a collaboration with local tower operator Inwit.
1 Tube map showing below ground 4G and 5G coverage - December 2023 (tfl.gov.uk)
No results found