In Germany, our portfolio is significantly weighted towards rooftop tower (RTT) sites, which account for 77% of our sites and serve predominantly urban areas. Ground-based tower (GBT) sites make up the remaining 23% and typically serve rural and suburban areas.

This breakdown is tailored to the specific makeup of Germany’s population, in which 77% of the country live in cities or urban areas. Only 15% live in villages with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants*.

There has been very limited shareability in the German market until now. The low tenancy ratio on both our GBT sites (1.8x) and RRT sites (1.0x) provides significant colocation potential, as MNOs look to deliver against the increasing data demands of densely-populated German cities.

In 2008 he moved to the Ukraine as Country Manager and to Russia in 2010, responsible for the expansion of the 3G networks and the introduction of 4G for the VimpelCom (now Veon) customer group in Russia, Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union. In addition to network expansion, he was also responsible for the operation of networks. In 2015 he returned to Germany as Commercial Director Western Europe for Ericsson, before taking over responsibility for the business of Vantage Towers Germany on January 1st, 2021.

As is the case across much of Europe, the number of Germans living in rural locations is reducing, as transformative digital economies continue to evolve and thrive in predominantly urban centres. The country is already densely-populated, boasting four cities with over 1 million inhabitants and 79 cities with over 100,000 inhabitants. As numbers continue to grow, so too will the need for network densification, delivered by a growing number of shared tenancies.

Our geo-location profile makes us well-placed to attract new tenants, with 47% of our sites in urban/suburban areas and a high share of those in prime locations for densification. The other side to this is that mobile networks have a crucial role to play in ensuring that rural communities are not entirely shut off from future prosperity. The government’s mobile network strategy targets 99.95 % household coverage by 2024. Coverage obligations, which are part of this strategy, are driving 61% of expected growth in new tenancies over the next ten years. A significant share has already been secured by Vantage Towers with, for example, 2,000 new rural sites from white spots.

High-quality, reliable connectivity is becoming increasingly more viable, as we continue to roll out infrastructure that extends coverage and capacity to even the most remote parts of Germany. This has the potential to bring numerous benefits to existing local economies (for example, agriculture), stimulated by emergent technologies and automation. But it also helps reduce the loss of skilled and educated people to the big cities, by enabling more digitally-reliant businesses to operate in more ‘remote’ locations.

Germany has long been at the forefront of social and economic developments in Europe. As the country looks to lead the way in a post-COVID landscape, it will need to harness the transformative technologies that only next-generation connectivity can deliver.

Peter Zehetner

Managing Director, Vantage Towers Germany

In Germany, unlike many European countries, industry continues to be a real driver of growth, with four sectors dominating: automotive, mechanical, chemical and electrical. Manufacturing contributed 23.4% to gross value added in Germany, compared to 12.7% in France and 10.1% in the UK, the next largest economies in Europe**. All four of these sectors stand to be radically transformed by the advent of next-generation connectivity: from robotics and automation, to remote monitoring and Internet of Things.

*     ‘Distribution of residents in Germany according to community size class’, December 2019, Statista.com

** ‘Industrial Germany: six strong numbers’, August 2018, deutschland.de

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