State Aid: Commission approves €58 million public support for mobile communications infrastructure in unserved areas of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Germany

The Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, €58 million of public support by the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the deployment, operation, and the granting of access to state-owned passive mobile communications infrastructure. The objective of the measure is to close mobile network coverage gaps in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where the market does not provide for any coverage. Mobile services will be provided via the new infrastructure and will be based on high-speed 4G Long-Term Evolution technology or 5G technology. Support under the measure will be granted through the establishment of dedicated trust assets at an in-house company that will deploy and operate the passive mobile network infrastructure. Once the infrastructure has been deployed, the in-house company will grant open, fair and non-discriminatory access to that infrastructure to all operators active in Germany. The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular under Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and applied the 2013 Broadband Guidelines by analogy. The Commission found that the measure is in line with the rules as it addresses a market failure, is an appropriate policy instrument for closing mobile network coverage gaps and is proportionate. The measure will contribute to the EU’s connectivity objectives of providing access to high-speed mobile services throughout the EU territory, in all places where people live, work, travel and gather. At the same time, the scheme will help reduce important inequalities and the digital divide in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.58099 once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.