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5G Innovation Programme

Source: BMVI

The requirements to be met by mobile communications in a totally interlinked society will be much more comprehensive than in the past. The digital transformation that is made possible by 5G will allow progress in all societal, economic and administrative areas and will sustainably contribute to an improved quality of life in Germany.

In order to satisfy the quality requirements of the future in relation to availability and latency as well as to meet the increasing need for bandwidths, we are intensively working on introducing the next mobile communications generation.

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer:

Our ambition for Germany has been and will remain to provide a mobile communications network in which phone calls are possible without disconnection as well as the traditional use of mobile Internet. The requirements set the focus on providing coverage to transport infrastructure, thus ensuring that rural regions also benefit from the deployment of the mobile communications networks. To this end, the network operators will invest massively in the coming years. It is obvious that only universal mobile communications coverage can provide the necessary basis for a systematic upgrade of the networks to the next mobile communications generation. 5G is much more than just high-speed internet – it is the key to the future. The buzz words are capacity, connectivity and real time.

The Innovation Programme is to enable the trialling of 5G applications under real-life conditions. In this way, potential consumers and providers of innovative 5G mobile communications solutions are to be brought together and the potential of 5G mobile communications is to be made visible locally. In total, the German Bundestag has decided that around 66 million euros will be made available for funding the introduction of 5G. With this initiative, we intend to contribute towards making Germany the lead market for 5G.

Step I – the 5G research regions

In the context of the 5G research initiative, in 2019, six special funding grants were awarded to research establishments and universities.

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer:

5G is much more than just high-speed internet – it is the key to the future. The buzz words are capacity, connectivity and real time. An example: one autonomous vehicle will need approx. one gigabyte of data – per minute. In comparison: to watch one minute of a video with Full HD quality on a smartphone it takes about 30 megabytes. In addition, the vehicles must communicate with intelligent traffic guidance systems. With 5G, up to a million internet-driven items in an area within a radius of one kilometre can be integrated. All of this is of no use to you, the passenger, unless the car is able to brake in real time, too. The six funded projects give us an idea of how 5G will change our lives in very different ways – from the way in which we work and get from one place to another to the way in which we see a doctor.

5G-Innovations-Wettbewerb

Source: BMVI

Step II – the 5G innovation competition

In addition to providing research funding, the innovation programme of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure also aims to activate the innovation potential of local communities and companies. In order to introduce them to the opportunities of 5G mobile communications step-by-step and with the necessary expertise, strategic funding was provided during the second step. The aim of the strategic funding was to develop project ideas to test and research 5G applications in the corresponding regions.

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer:

The 138 concrete ideas underline the enormous interest in 5G. And rightly so, because 5G is the key to the future. Be it transport and logistics, medicine, forestry and agriculture or many other areas, this technology will permanently change our lives. Throughout Germany, 67 cities and regions can now seize the opportunity to progress the introduction of 5G with innovative and creative strategies.

In total, 67 cities, regions and associations have received around 6.2 million euros for the development of 5G strategies. The deadline for submission for the funded projects was 30 August 2020. However, also projects where the application for strategic funding could not be considered were given the opportunity to participate in the innovation programme, even without funding.

An overview of the projects funded can be accessed here (in German).

Gruppenfoto zum 5G-Innovationsprogramm

Source: BMVI

Step III – the 5G implementation funding

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer:

5G is real. We are giving Germany a mobile communications boost. Cities and districts are implementing innovative 5G applications. With modern mobility applications and new services, for example for the provision of medical care, the projects make rural areas more attractive, reduce emissions and lower costs. 5G creates completely new opportunities – locally and in everyday life. We are making progress alive – and theses cities and districts are leading the way.

During the third step of the 5G innovation competition, 71 cities and regions all over Germany have developed innovative and creative strategies for 5G applications and business models – tailored to the local needs and in cooperation with regional businesses and research establishments.

Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer:

Throughout the country, 71 cities and regions have seized the opportunity to progress the introduction of 5G with innovative and creative strategies. We are facilitating the implementation of ten projects all over Germany: from forest firefighting in Brandenburg through sustainable agriculture in Lower Saxony to automated driving in Bavaria, the full range of technology is represented.

The first 10 projects have received implementation funding in December 2020 and thereby been given green light. With a view to the great and nationwide interest, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has considerably expanded the 5G implementation competition: up to 60 projects had the chance to receive implementation funding. Every project represents a consortium of local authorities, businesses and research establishments. All in all, there are funds available for several hundred committed businesses and institutions. It is this nationwide commitment in particular which makes it possible to widely use the opportunities of 5G mobile communications and make Germany the lead market for 5G.

An overview of the projects funded can be accessed here (in German).