The telecommunications group Vodafone wants to build a mobile communications development center in Dresden. After talks had been held with eight cities in Europe, the Saxon state capital was chosen as the location, Vodafone announced on Sunday in Düsseldorf. More than 200 jobs are to be created at the new center in the coming years. There was just as little information given about the time of the start of construction as about the investment volume. “The decision is another strong commitment to the industrial location in the heart of Europe,” said Vodafone Germany boss Hannes Ametsreiter.
“The future of digitization is being devised in Germany”
Among other things, it is about digital applications for transport, agriculture, healthcare and buildings. The technology is initially being developed for the 5G mobile communications standard, the network of which Vodafone has been expanding in Germany since last year and which competes with Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica (o2). In addition, the competence center will deal with the 6th generation of mobile communications (6G). The development of this radio standard is still in its infancy. In mobile communications, roughly every ten years, a new standard is ready for the market – the designated 5G successor could be ready around 2030.
With 6G, the transmission speed would increase significantly again and the already low latency – i.e. the response time – would be shortened. In dealing with the rapidly increasing amounts of data and new technical possibilities such as virtual reality and autonomous vehicles, 6G would be another big step forward in the digital age. Vodafone manager Ametsreiter assessed the location decision for Dresden as a “signal for this country”: “The future of digitization is being devised in Germany.”
Key function for 6G
Vodafone has so far had its mobile communications development units at various locations in Europe, and the new Dresden location is to have an internal key function for 6G for all of Europe.
According to the announcement, Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier welcomed the decision. “The attractiveness of Dresden and Saxony as an innovation region is once again visible here,” said the CDU politician. “And the decision shows: Germany is and will remain a high-tech location.” As future technologies, 5G and 6G are fundamental for the further digitalization of industry, especially for the automotive industry, which is so important for Germany. Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) spoke of “excellent news”.