Bundenetzagentur: 5G was 28.5% of broadband speed measurements in Germany (Oct 2022 thru Sept 2023)

German Federal Network Agency Bundenetzagentur (BNetzA) annual report said that 5G readings made up 28.5% of the broadband speed measurements up from 6% in the previous (2020/2021) reporting period.

“I’m pleased that the network operators are pushing ahead rapidly with the 5G rollout. More and more mobile customers are benefiting from very high speeds. This trend will pick up even more in the coming years,” said Klaus Müller, President of  the Bundesnetzagentur.

It’s possible to achieve very high data transmission rates with 5G (?), which are sometimes well over the contractually agreed estimated maximum of the relevant tariff. This year’s annual report includes a special examination of such measurements.

Results for fixed broadband connections

The proportion of fixed broadband users whose connection had a download speed of at least half their contractually agreed maximum speed was 85.5% (2021/2022: 84.4%). The proportion of users whose connection had a speed equivalent to or higher than their contractually agreed maximum speed was 43.5% (2021/2022: 42.3%). Slight improvements on the previous year were thus evident.

Most end-users (79.1%; 2021/2022: 78.2%) were satisfied with the performance of their provider (rating of 1 to 3 on a scale of 1 to 6, with 1 being the highest). 10.4% of customers (2021/2022: 10.9%) gave their connection a rating of 5 or 6. These results show that customer satisfaction was slightly higher than in the previous year. The actual speeds measured by satisfied end-users were closer to the contractually agreed maximum speeds.

Results for mobile broadband connections

For mobile broadband connections, general performance was again considerably lower than for fixed broadband. The proportion of users across all bandwidth categories and providers whose connection had at least half their contractually agreed estimated maximum speed was 25.5% (2021/2022: 23.2%). The proportion of users whose connection had a speed equivalent to or higher than their contractually agreed estimated maximum speed was 4% (2021/2022: 3%).

The large majority of end-users (70.4%) once again gave their providers a rating of 1 to 3. This is a very small decline on the previous 12-month period (2021/2022: 70.8%). The fact that at the same time the broadband speeds measured as a percentage of the contractually agreed estimated maximum speeds were again low still suggests that mobile broadband users rated mobility and absolute speeds higher than actually receiving their contractually agreed maximum speeds.

Speed test results do not allow conclusions on broadband coverage

The test results depend on the tariffs agreed between the users and their providers. It is therefore not possible to draw conclusions from the broadband speed checker results about broadband coverage or the availability of broadband internet access. Rather, the tests show if the providers supply their customers with the contractually agreed bandwidth.

Annual report on broadband speed tests

The eighth annual report covers the period from 1 October 2022 to 30 September 2023. A total of 305,035 valid tests were made using the desktop app (2021/2022: 398,747 valid tests). For the mobile sector, the number of valid tests was 563,363 (2021/2022: 623,581).





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With 85% 5G coverage in Germany; only 40% have used a 5G network

At least half of the population in Germany has never used a 5G mobile network. That is the result of a representative opinion poll published on Saturday by Innofact AG, which was commissioned by comparison portal Verivox.  In the survey, 40 percent of people in Germany said they had already used the 5G network once or several times.  49 percent have never been on the 5G network, and 10 percent are not sure. They have either been in the 5G network unknowingly or belong to the group that has not yet transmitted data in a 5G network.

The 5G mobile network is faster than previous network generations (LTE or UMTS). It also has lower latency, which means that the connection responds faster when accessing websites or apps. This plays a role in online gaming, for example. 5G also allows for a greater number of devices to be connected simultaneously. This is important, for example, at major events such as a soccer match, when many fans in the stadium are uploading or watching videos at the same time.

According to the latest statistics from the Federal Network Agency, around 85 percent of Germany is currently covered by 5G networks. In the city states of Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen there is virtually full coverage, while in the territorial states the figures are lower. Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia have the lowest rollout rates, at just under 80 percent.  Deutsche Telekom recently said its 5G network already reaches 94% of the overall population in Germany. During 2022, Germany’s largest operators have been focusing on the expansion of their 5G networks, with some operators already offering coverage to more than 80% of the country’s population.

The expansion rate also varies among the four 5G network providers. As stated, Deutsche Telekom  reported  94 percent household coverage for 5G. Vodafone ‘s 5G household coverage is 80 percent, while Telefónica (O2) is at 75 percent. New entrant 1&1 operates only a few of its own 5G radio masts so far. Large discounter brands such as Aldi Talk, which mainly operate on Telefónica networks, do not yet offer any 5G rates.

“That 5G network usage remains below its potential is no surprise in times of high inflation,” said Jens-Uwe Theumer, Vice President Telecommunications at Verivox. “After all, anyone who wants to surf via 5G needs an appropriate smartphone as well as a 5G-compatible rate plan. Both components are comparatively expensive.” Recently, however, prices for 5G smartphones had dropped sharply. Entry-level models are available from around 200 euros.

The Verivox survey showed no urban-rural divide in 5G usage, although the 5G network is better developed in urban regions than in rural areas. For example, 20 percent of residents of rural communities and smaller towns say they have already been on the 5G network several times – among residents of large cities (100,000 inhabitants or more), the figure is only slightly higher at 25 percent. There is also a small difference in the number of non-users, which is 50 percent in smaller towns and communities and 47 percent in large cities.

However, 5G use declines with increasing age. Young people under 30 say they have already used the 5G network at least once. Among respondents over 70, this figure is only 17 percent. Among respondents aged 50 to 69, 29 percent say they have already surfed via 5G. Across age groups, more than one in four men use the 5G network more often, but only 17 percent of women.





The current state of 5G in Germany