Germany is due to begin auctioning 5G spectrum in the first quarter of 2019

Germany needs a fourth mobile network operator to inject fresh competition into its stagnating telecoms market, according to the country’s antitrust regulator.

A report by Reuters sites Cartel Office Chief, Andres Mundt, as saying that Germany needed a fourth mobile operator to enter the market at the country’s forthcoming 5G spectrum auction.  

“It would be desirable for competition on the mobile market if the auction enabled the entry of a fourth network operator,” Mundt said in a statement.

Unsurprisingly, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica Deutschland and Vodafone have all resisted terms offered by the German telecoms regulator that would reduce barriers to entry for a would be new operator.

Germany plans to begin auctioning spectrum for fifth generation mobile networks in early 2019. The country’s Federal Network Operator has already delayed the spectrum auction, which was originally due to take place in late 2018.

Mundt also called for Germany’s big three network operators to be forced to open up their network architecture for use by mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), echoing calls made by the MVNO Europe group last month.

"Until now, the three incumbent German Mobile Network Operators – namely Telekom Deutschland, Vodafone and Telefónica Deutschland – made clear they have no intention of enabling non-discriminatory wholesale access to their networks, or to support industrial and Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems. Many MVNOs, as well as industrial companies willing to develop 5G networks and services, see their commercial and innovation potential curtailed, due to that fact that fit-for-purpose wholesale access to 4G is prevented by these MNOs," read a statement from the MVNO Europe organisation.

Also in the news: 

Germany must consider MVNO access for 5G

Deutsche Telekom and United Internet close in on 5m FTTH JV

Deutsche Telekom eyes US expansion