A lightning poll of German startups conducted by the German Startups e.V. and the Internet Economy Foundation (IE.F) shows that the rapid and widespread introduction of 5G mobile technology is a key issue for young growth companies in Germany. Moreover, the vast majority of founders do not believe that the German government is succeeding in developing Germany as the “lead market for 5G” as promised.
In view of the consultation period on the auctioning of 5G frequencies, which ended on 12 October, the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V. and the Internet Economy Foundation (IE.F) conducted a lightning poll. The results are clear. A large majority of 88% say that the rapid and nationwide introduction of 5G in Germany is important or even very important for the German startup ecosystem. Similarly, in view of one’s own company: 71% consider 5G to be important or very important.
“In the competition for innovative ideas and applications, startups are dependent on the availability of competitive infrastructure – especially when it comes to transmission speed. Without this basic requirement, many data-based startups in the international race will have no chance. The federal government must accelerate the rollout of 5G”, said Florian Nöll, chairman of the startup union.
The Grand Coalition has announced that Germany will become the “lead market for 5G”. However, only a few founders believe that this promise will be kept: 84% are sure that the Federal Government will not reach the goal in the foreseeable future. “So far, the plans of the Grand Coalition and the Federal Network Agency fall short. It now needs a change of course correction, otherwise we are squandering our last chance to become a leading market for fast internet”, says Prof. Dr. med. Friedbert Pflüger, Chairman of the Internet Economy Foundation.
While Germany is still discussing the modalities of frequency auctioning, other countries are already creating facts. Thus, especially in China, South Korea and the US, the 5G expansion massively advanced. If Germany does not want to lose the connection to these leading digital powers, there is an urgent need for action, because the availability of 5G is a prerequisite for key technologies such as the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and Autonomous Driving.
“Germany has already lost the first chapter of digitization to the US and China. The last chance for our domestic economy to still have a share in digitization depends on German core industries such as mechanical engineering, automotive and the Internet of Things”, explains Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet and member of the IE.F Board of Trustees.
Even the startups surveyed see a danger in this current development – nearly 75% consider the pioneering role of China and the US at 5G to be threatening or even very threatening for Germany as a business location.