Competition for Telekom, Vodafone and O2: New information on the fourth German mobile network

Ralph Dommermuth, the boss of the telecommunications company 1&1, calls for a waiver of the billion-dollar government auctions that have been used up until now for the allocation of mobile radio frequencies. There should be an “industrial solution” in which the four providers share the frequencies by negotiation among themselves. “I prefer to invest the money in the network instead of spending it on frequencies,” Dommermuth told dpa in Montabaur. “Under the supervision of the Federal Network Agency, the four network operators should agree on a fair distribution.” He is interested in low frequencies – in the 700, 800 and 900 megahertz range – which have a large range and are important for supply in rural areas.

At the beginning of 2026, spectrum that was previously used by Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica (O2) will be free. In the future, however, there will not only be three, but four mobile network operators in Germany. Because in the summer of 2023, 1&1 wants to activate its own new network for mobile phone customers. In the future, the network will transmit at higher frequencies (2.1 and 3.5 gigahertz), the usage rights for which the Federal Network Agency auctioned off in 2019 and which are particularly suitable for cities with high data requirements. At that time, the state received 6.5 billion euros from the four bidders. A waiver of a new auction would also mean a waiver of high state revenues.

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