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Call key data
5G coverage along transport corridors - Works
Connecting Europe Facility - Digital
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 10,000,000.00 and € 25,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The overall goal of this call is to leverage the needed private investment in order to establish a full pan-European road and railway network of 5G corridors by the end of the CEF programme (2027).
This topic targets actions that support investments in challenging areas, where market forces alone will not be capable of delivering 5G services with the required quality of service.
Applicants may apply for grants for works, including studies, related to project costs covering the following categories:
- Deployment of passive network elements including civil works, e.g., ducts, dark fibre, 5G radio stations, towers, masts and/or pylons.
- Deployment and installation of active network elements, e.g., antennae, storage and computing capabilities such as network controllers, routers, switches, exchanges, edge MEC/node etc.
- Deployment and installation of specific track side devices (e.g., road, rail) for CAM use cases, such as sensors, cameras etc. for traffic monitoring purposes, including connected road-side units.
- Studies for preparatory works, such as network planning, to be deployed as part of proposed works within the same application.
The 5G connectivity infrastructure deployment proposed for funding under this call may encompass both passive and active network elements along transport paths.
In the case of passive network infrastructure deployment projects consisting mainly of fiber backhauling, the proposal should clearly demonstrate the concrete plans for its use in the context of 5G infrastructure and services, in particular with regard to the installation of the necessary equipment and associated facilities enabling the interconnection with points of presence and points of access to 5G stations and other relevant network elements (e.g., edge nodes).
Proposals must not cover more than 15% of the total length of all the TEN-T comprehensive corridors of the same category (road, rail or waterways) per Member State concerned by the proposal and other projects funded by the CEF Digital programme.
Please consult the call document for more information on the scope, including digital security requirements.
Expected effects and impacts
CEF Digital funding is expected to move forward and accelerate large-scale deployment of 5G corridors to support the adoption of CAM, including driving with higher levels of automation and the digitalisation of rail operations as well as other relevant modes of transport. Funding may also support the deployment of Future Rail Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) and trackside and associated on-board equipment related to critical automatic train control systems and applications (ETCS and/or ATO).
By closing the deployment gaps, removing capacity bottlenecks and technical barriers, and ensuring service continuity across the border, the deployment of 5G corridors would contribute to strengthening the social, economic, and territorial cohesion in the EU.
The objective is to fund the first larger wave of deployment projects deriving from inception studies co-funded in the first call (CEF-DIG-2021-5GCORRIDORS-STUDIES) or building on other types of studies or based on results generated by on-going R&I 5G cross-border corridor trial projects conducted across the EU under Horizon 2020.
Projects funded under this call are expected to:
- Deploy 5G systems along transport paths for 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.
- 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).
- The focus is 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 multimodal combination with other modes of transport (including for example 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 text).
Exceptionally, when there is no terrestrial border with another 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.