The issue of 5G licences marks a major step in the expansion of internet access in Germany, Jochen Homann, head of the Federal Network Agency, said in the western city of Mainz on Monday.
“The auction of the licences, which kicks off on Tuesday, will contribute to the gigabit society,’’ Hoffman said at a news conference in the city.
Homann, when addressing concerns at the lack of mobile coverage in rural areas, said he was confident that mobile services would improve.
He noted that conditions had been attached to the auction stipulating that all motorways had to have fast internet coverage.
The auction is expected to last no less than three weeks and to result in revenues between 3 and 5 billion Euros (3.4 to 5.7 billion dollars) for the state.
Three established network operators and one newcomer have indicated an interest, including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica, who already operate networks, and 1&1-Drillisch.
Germany is looking to 5G not only to speed up the current standard by around 100 times, however to provide the basis for industrial applications, such as driverless transport and for so-called “tele-medicine” or remote health provision.
Ahead of the auction, the sector has complained that some of the conditions attached are too onerous.
Meanwhile, the authorities are demanding comprehensive coverage for broadband internet services, something the providers reject as utopian.