The CEF Digital Program funds projects providing 5G coverage along major transport paths such as roads, railways and waterways to establish a pan-European transport network of 5G corridors by 2027.

The program supports different types of projects in the form of Works or Studies where Works projects are implementing 5G infrastructure and inception studies are determining how new coverage can be achieved. The CEF co-funding rate can vary between 30-50-70% depending on the nature and type of the project supported. The CEF Digital budget for improving 5G coverage along transport corridors is up to €800 m over the period 2021-2027. These 5G infrastructures will in turn enable the roll-out of connected and automated mobility.

5G corridors are planned as 5G systems that meet the very stringent service requirements of transport safety and digital rail operations, in particular in terms of ultra-high reliability, security, low latency, and high throughput. They make the characteristics of these technologies available for advanced transport and logistics applications.

Projects funded under the 5G coverage along the European transport corridors Call aim to:

  • Create a corridor which crosses at least one national border and is on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
  • Deliver uninterrupted coverage over the whole range of the corridor, ensuring high-quality connectivity.
  • Have infrastructure which uses at least one 5G pioneer band (700 MHz, 3.6 GHz, 26 GHz) and, if appropriate, the 5.9 GHz ITS band and the 900 MHz and 1900 MHz FRMCS bands.
  • Meet service requirements for both safety-related road/rail/waterway operations and contain multi-application 5G services to ensure business continuity across the entire section of the corridor.

This 5G infrastructure will be a key enabler for connected and automated mobility (CAM) including safety and non-safety services and strengthen the digitalisation of rail operations and inland waterways.

How to participate

Project consortia should consist of a minimum of two entities from two different eligible countries. Exceptionally, for 5G Corridors projects crossing the border with a third country or terminating at a port with maritime connections to other EU Member States, minimum 2 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from at least one eligible country.

third call for proposals was launched on 17 October 2023 and is closed since the 20th of February 2024. It was open to both works and studies, preparing the project pipeline while simultaneously implementing projects on the ground.

Inception Studies (Call Budget 5MEuro for preparatory actions – including e.g. network architecture, planning and location; cost-benefit analysis; business models, etc. – for subsequent deployment projects) and
Works projects (Call Budget 95MEuro for deployment projects providing 5G connectivity along key European transport paths for enabling Connected and Automated Mobility – CAM ).



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