Thursday May 23, 2024

Launch of Germany's 4th mobile network delayed again

Published : 19 Sep 2023, 01:03

  DF News Desk
The logo of German telecommunications provider 1&1 in Rhineland-Palatinate. Photo: Thomas Frey/dpa.

German telecommunications provider 1&1 has postponed the launch of its mobile phone network to December, the company said on Monday, reported dpa.

The roll-out of Germany's fourth mobile network was originally planned for next week. In 2022, the provider also missed a deadline for the launch of 1000 5G antennas following delivery problems of its partners.

The reason for the current delay is the network's change of partners.

Earlier this year, newcomer 1&1 reached a national 5G roaming partnership with its competitor Vodafone that is to come into effect in the summer of 2024.

So far, 1&1 has had a roaming partnership contract with Telefónica Deutschland (O2), but it only applies to 4G.

1&1 has applied to the Federal Network Agency to extend the transition period as it makes the switch to the new partnership.

However, the regulatory authority has not yet decided on this.

"1&1's application and the network operators' comments are currently being examined," a spokesman for the network agency said on Monday regarding the status of the procedure.

If 1&1 decided to launch its own network as early as next week, the company would have been taking a risk. If its application is denied, its position in the market would deteriorate starting January 2024. To avoid this, 1&1 is postponing the launch.

So far, there are three mobile phone networks in Germany: Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica (O2).

Industry experts expect the fourth network to increase competition, which could benefit consumers. Certain parts of the country experience coverage gaps or slow download rates.

Earlier this year, the Federal Network Agency said it intends to impose fines on Germany's telecom providers if they fail to sufficiently expand their networks by a certain deadline.