More than half of Germans regularly experience bad mobile coverage

A recent survey shows that 53 percent of Germans often encounter network failures or interrupted connections, particularly on motorways and trains.

The words
The words "No network" can be seen on the screen of a mobile phone. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Although Germany’s mobile communications companies regularly report progress in their network expansion, a recent survey has shown that mobile phone users still see network dead zones as a serious problem.

READ ALSO: German mobile networks improve coverage in signal ‘dead zones’

In a representative survey carried out by comparison portal Verivox, 53 percent of respondents said they had to deal with network failures or interrupted connections “often” or “very often”.

A majority of people said they were aggravated by poor connections on trains and motorways, with 62 percent of commuters reporting frequent network service interruptions.

Responding the results of the survey, Jens-Uwe Theumer, Vice President of Telecommunications at Verivox, said: “Traffic routes are the Achilles’ heel of the German mobile network. Even in 2022, many kilometres of the rail and road network routes still have gaps in coverage, especially in sparsely populated rural areas.”

By the end of 2022, 100mpbs downloads should be available via mobile phone networks along motorways and along busy rail traffic lines in Germany. 

However, this deadline will not apply in places where mobile network providers are unable to obtain land for a cellular tower or are not allowed to erect one – for example, because of a nature reserve.

READ ALSO: ‘We’re running late on this’: Deutsche Bahn promises better Wifi on German trains by 2026

According to a paper published by the Federal Network Agency based on data from January, all three domestic network operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica (O2) – have a long way to go with regard to network expansion along transport routes.

According to the report, the coverage range on autobahns lies between 93 and 99 percent, and only 90 to 96 percent of the routes on the most important federal highways. On railway routes, the coverage range is between 92 and 97 percent.

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Berlin transport network launches flexi-ticket for post-pandemic travel

The VBB-Flexticket for Berlin’s BVG and S-Bahn aims to give riders more flexible travel options during - and after - the Covid pandemic.

Single ticket for Berlin public transport
A passenger holds a single travel ticket for the Berlin transport network. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Lukas Schulze

Starting New Year’s Day, Berlin and Brandenburg’s VBB introduced its new Flexticket, offering transit riders more flexibility during a time when they might not be going into the office every day.

Designed for people who may be working from home a few times a week, the Flexticket comes in a pack of eight tickets valid for a period of 24 hours each, at a cost of €44 a pack.

It saves the rider more than three euros a ticket compared to buying eight individual day passes, almost €20 compared to the monthly fee a yearly subscription carries, and is nearly €40 cheaper than a monthly ticket bought at a BVG machine.

Passengers have 30 days to use the eight tickets, with unused ones losing their validity after that time.

“Perhaps the world will look different again in two or three years, but we now need flexible tariff offers,” said VBB Head Susanne Henckel in a press release.

READ ALSO: German public transport slammed as ‘failure’ as half of users switch to car

The Flexticket is valid only in the Berlin AB zones and can only be purchased in online or in a BVG or S-Bahn customer service centre. Riders can’t buy them at machines.

It will stay in a pilot phase until December 2023.