Faster digital: Broadband for municipalities and companies
The German economy is going digital. Accordingly, the digital infrastructure must also continue to grow to meet the new requirements: expansion of bandwidth with fibre optics and optical fibres, expansion of the 5G network for seamless mobile communications, and equipping users with the right digital products and services.
VNG has been involved in this area for many years and will continue to extend its commitment. The Group has built up a broadly based network of shareholdings and partnerships – in some cases via subsidiaries – that now covers almost all areas of planning, construction and operation of digital infrastructures. This ranges from the planning and laying of data carriers for data transport through network solutions for carriers, municipalities & companies to the operation of telecommunications networks or the provision of IT applications and apps for network operators in the energy industry.
Infrastructure for data exchange and 5G
One example is the company GasLINE, in which VNG holds a stake both directly and through its trading company Gas-Union. GasLINE offers fibre optic infrastructure nationwide and already has a 32,000-kilometre network that is being continuously expanded: by 2026, projects with additional length of 5,500 kilometres are under construction or in the planning stage. The new projects are generally for network densification or the construction of municipal broadband networks and are in some cases just a few kilometres long, but in others well over 100 kilometres.
The expansion of the digital infrastructure is often routed along existing infrastructure or newly laid lines. For example, when new gas pipelines or power cables are laid, broadband cables are laid along the same route. Such cooperation models save costs and can shorten construction times – a combined measure for energy and data infrastructure is more efficient than digging up the same road twice. GasLINE is also involved in the expansion of the 5G infrastructure for mobile operators.
Broadband helps the energy transition
Digital infrastructure is also important for the climate-neutral energy system of the future: broadband expansion is of great importance for the success of the energy transition, because the efficient balancing of energy supply and demand requires the exchange of huge amounts of data between the companies and organisations involved. This also includes operators of gas and electricity networks: the operation of smart grids for intelligent control of local energy networks is neither rational nor economical without high-performance data communication. Without broadband expansion, smart home and smart metering solutions that can significantly reduce energy consumption in buildings are also made more complicated and time-consuming.