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Call key data
5G coverage along transport corridors - Studies
Connecting Europe Facility - Digital
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 300,000.00 and € 1,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This topic targets preparatory actions in view of foreseen deployment projects that support investments in challenging areas, where market forces alone will not deliver 5G services with the necessary quality of service.
Combining several deployment projects for the same or different calls, e.g., combined by region, is encouraged in this call.
The studies should deliver the following elements:
- Location of the corridor, including the different cross-border sections
- Full network planning including the spectrum bands used or enabled
- Detailed definition of use cases and service requirements along the corridor allowing for business continuity across borders
- Concrete deliverables enabling to specify and financially quantify the investment required for infrastructure deployment, including coverage and service capabilities, use of existing infrastructure (backhauling including fibre, power, buildings and other constructions for co-location, ground space and other associated facilities and services)
- A detailed plan on the proposed means deployed to enable uninterrupted service provision along the funded section of corridors, where relevant, the supporting coordination mechanisms/arrangements, in particular regarding spectrum management and numbering. This includes a description of the scenario(s) and processes to guarantee a network hand-over meeting targeted CAM service requirements
- Cost calculation and a cost-benefit analysis to identify economically viable and non-viable sections of the corridor where CEF-funding of 5G connectivity infrastructure deployment would be needed and justified according to the guidance set forth by the Commission in its Work Programme
- Timeline of the work plan for deployment of subsequent works (finalisation of network planning, permit requests, preparation of works, works, testing, service launch)
- Network upgrade plans according to an evolutionary path enabling a densification of radio networks that would allow moving towards higher levels of automation, if possible up to full automation (e.g., level 5 in automotive)
- Definition of cooperation model(s) between the different members of the consortium outlining the roles and responsibilities of each involved party in the deployment project, including financing, ownership, infrastructure deployment, network sharing agreements – if any, network operations and commercial service provision
- Identification of financing solutions for subsequent phases (based on the roadmap described above) possibly using a mix of grants and loans, e.g., under a potential CEF Digital blending facility
Please consult the call document for more information on the scope, including digital security requirements.
Expected effects and impacts
Proposals submitted under this topic are expected to prepare for 5G corridor work that will contribute to a wider plan to deploy uninterrupted, end-to-end 5G connectivity throughout the entire CEF corridor covered by the proposal, in synergy, where appropriate, with national actions, such as those identified under RRF.
The inception studies should propose key parameters that will best describe the different features of the proposed 5G corridor, including the aggregate length of the corridors covered by 5G, the spectrum bands to be used along the sections, the inter-radio site distance, the availability of various service features along transport routes, service continuity across the border, as well as the available performance such as data rate and latency for each vehicle as a result of CEF Digital support.
Enabling the use of sharing models for both passive and active infrastructure, which is encouraged in this call, aims to increase the efficient use of funds provided under this programme.
During the last decade large-scale trials for testing, demonstration, and validation purposes have been conducted at different locations across Europe, with the support of European and national/local public funding.
Inception studies will be funded under this call, in order to prepare the actual works for the next big waves of deployment to be launched after the conclusion of the studies. Another call for deployment is planned for 2024.
Individual studies covering several deployment projects (e.g. in the same geographical area or encompassing several transport modes) are encouraged, if relevant.
Projects funded under this call are expected to:
- Cover preparatory actions (technical for network architecture, planning and location; cost-benefit analysis; business models, etc) for subsequent deployment projects of 5G systems enabling the development of Connected and Automated Mobility, including automated rail and waterway operations, with the overall view to contribute to the green and digital transition of the EU
- Aim at future deployment reaching uninterrupted coverage meeting service requirements for Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM), Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and Future Railway Mobile Communications Systems FRMCS), River Information Systems (RIS) and also for multi-service/multi-application 5G services along European transport paths, including high-value commercial services (e.g., infotainment, mobile office)
- Focus on providing such connectivity along key European transport paths including, but not limited to, the indicative list of 5G corridors in part V of the Annex to the CEF Regulation. In this sense, projects may encompass roads, rail, and inland waterways, and if appropriate in combination with multimodal transport for example exploring use cases for smart logistics in multimodal logistic platforms and ports, etc.)
The priority of this call will be to support investment in cross-border sections of a Member State with one or more Member States or associated countries with higher funding rate (see section 10 of the call document).
Exceptionally, when there is no terrestrial border with a Member State, 5G corridor deployment projects crossing the border of a third country or terminating at a port with maritime connections to other EU Member States are also within the scope of this call. In such cases a strong cross-border dimension needs to be demonstrated and CEF co-funding will be limited to the corridor sections located in the eligible country/countries.
Regions / countries for funding
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
- be legal entities (public or private bodies)
- be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
Please note however that this call is subject to restrictions due to security reasons. This means that only the following countries are eligible: EU Member States. Participation in any capacity (as beneficiary, affiliated entity, associated partner, subcontractor or recipient of financial support to third parties) is limited to entities from eligible countries.
- Entities from other countries (not listed above) are exceptionally eligible for projects of common interest, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action.
- Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legalpersonality separate from that of the natural person).
- International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
- Entities without legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guaranteesfor the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
other eligibility criteria
Proposals must be submitted by:
- minimum 2 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from at least two Member States, or a Member State and associated or third country
- exceptionally, when there is no terrestrial border with a Member State, 5G corridor deployment projects crossing the border of 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 Member State.
The costs will be reimbursed at the funding rates fixed in the Grant Agreement (maximum 50% for the costs of studies, maximum 70% for the costs of works in outermost regions, and maximum 30% for all other costs categories (‘project funding rate’)). You can apply for a higher project funding rate if your project concerns strong cross-border dimension: maximum 50%.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have threeparts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), and the summarised budget for the project
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
- Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data
Mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded)
- detailed budget table per Work Package (template available in the Submission System).
- activity reports of the last finalized accounting year (unless exempted from operational capacity check; see section 7 of call document)
- list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years) (template available in Part B)
- timetable/Gantt chart (template available in the Submission System)
- letters of support (Member States agreement) (template available in the Submission System, the list of MS contact points is published in the HADEA website)
- declaration from the coordinator, on behalf of the consortium, that no 5G infrastructure, present or credibly planned, is capable of providing an uninterrupted mobile coverage suitable for CAM services in the corridor section concerned (for works proposals, to be uploaded in the Submission System in “Other annexes”)
- self-declaration from all Mobile Network Operators involved in the proposal that the public funding of the CEF intervention will not be used by the involved MNOs for the purpose of the fulfilment of any relevant coverage obligation, for instance in the context of spectrum licenses (for works proposals, to be uploaded in the Submission System in “Other annexes”)
- security declarations signed by the participating entities (for works proposals, template available in the Submission System)
- security guarantees approved by the respective Member States (or by the respective authorities of the associated country or third country) (template available in the Submission System, the list of MS contact points is published in the HADEA website). Exceptionally, should a Member State require more time to provide its approval, the applicants must submit, by the call deadline, a copy of the security guarantee and the acknowledgment of receipt of the request by the Member States. In this case, the security guarantees approved by the Member States must be sent by the proposal coordinator to HADEA-CEF-DIGITAL-CALLS@ec.europa.eu by 18 March 2024, 17:00:00 CET (Brussels) at the latest, identified with the proposal ID in the email subject.
- other annexes
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 120 pages.