German operators slam regulator over LTE approval delays

German wireless carriers are in an uproar over what they said is a delay by the German telecom regulator BNA in approving their applications to deploy LTE network technology in key German cities. According to the Financial Times Deutschland, BNA is sitting on over 8,000 applications made by Vodafone, Telefónica, E-Plus and Telekom Deutschland for LTE deployments, thus resulting in significant delays in building LTE in urban German areas.

The head of Germany's telecom operators association VATM, Juergen Grützner, has written to the BNA claiming that the statutory maximum of six weeks to process an application is often being exceeded by several months.

The BNA said the issue is due to not having adequate staff assigned to the task. The agency said new software will be implemented that should help alleviate the delays.

Grützner has told VATM members that, "We expect the new president of the BNA to find a quick and pragmatic solution," according to the Financial Times Deutschland.

Having been restricted by their 800 MHz LTE licence conditions to initially provide coverage to rural areas, the operators are now keen to deploy the technology into more profitable urban and city locations.

The operators are required to obtain permission from the BNA for each microwave and base station antenna prior to installation.

For more:
- see this Financial Times Deutschland (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)

Related Articles:
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Salanave: The (lack of) LTE impetus in Europe
Report: LTE now reaches 13M German households
Report: Europe to account for 30% for LTE devices shipped in 2012 
Vodafone Germany to charge premium for LTE smartphone access 
Vodafone Germany to launch HTC Velocity, first German LTE smartphone

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