Germany is set to put spectrum in the 2GHz and 3.6GHz bands up for auction in March 2019, but could a fourth operator be poised to enter the German market

Germany’s federal telecoms regulator, the BNetzA, has confirmed that four telecoms firms have applied to participate in its forthcoming 5G spectrum auction. 

Germany’s three existing mobile network operators, namely Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica Deutschland and Vodafone, will be joined by United Internet’s 1&1 Drillisch, in the bid to win spectrum. 

Germany is expected to auction off spectrum in the 2GHz and 3.6GHz bands in March 2019, with the country’s MNOs keen to begin planning their 5G rollout plans. 

Germany has stated that any telco purchasing spectrum at its 5G auctions must also commit to meeting minimum coverage areas, as well as making their infrastructure available to new entrants, and BNetzA will assess each of the applicants’ ability to deliver comprehensive 5G services across the country. 

A number of analysts have speculated that the launch of 5G could present a key opportunity for Germany to introduce a fourth MNO to inject fresh competition into its domestic telecoms sector. 

All three of the country’s existing MNOs have filed legal objections to the minimum service obligations attached to the spectrum sale, as they band together to try and block access for a new entrant to the market. 

According to a report by Reuters, BNetzA has said that it will expedite the process of judging the four applicant’s eligibility to take part in the auction. 


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