German petrol stations offering drivers 5G at the fuel pump

By DPA | 13 February 2020

BERLIN: Drivers may soon be surfing the web at ridiculously high speeds and paying for fuel over 5G if the latest upgrades to petrol stations in Germany are any indication of the next trend at the filling station.

Europe's first petrol stations with super-fast 5G Internet went online in Germany this week, telecoms giant Vodafone and French energy firm Total said.

Last year Jilin City in China made a similar move to high-speed Internet at the filling station, but the rollout of 5G has largely been limited to railway stations and airports until now.

The addition to petrol stations in Germany is designed to allow customers to pay for fuel using their mobiles, while also providing a next-generation mobile phone signal for the area.

Total operates around 1,200 petrol stations in Germany and the first sites to be kitted out with the technology are in the cities of Dusseldorf and Erfurt, a Vodafone spokesman said.

The 5G connection is to be used to control price displays and digital advertising boards.

The technology is made possible by a stationary 5G router, or "Gigacube 5G," which receives the 5G signal from the mobile phone network and transmits it to a network distributor at the filling station.

Using mobile phones at the pump is banned in Germany, however, due to their flammable batteries, so any customers with 5G-enabled smartphones would need to use them at the checkout area.