Germany is preparing to auction off key 5G spectrum in the 3.6GHz band in the coming months

Germany’s telecoms regulator must ensure that adequate licencing provisions are in place when it holds its next spectrum auction, or risk jeopardising the rollout and scalability of 5G in the country and across Europe, according to an industry trade group.

Germany is poised to auction off spectrum in the 2GHz and 3.6GHz band, but the country’s regulator is facing calls to include mandatory wholesale network access requirements on the spectrum licences that it issues.

"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.

By caveating the sale of 5G spectrum licences with mandatory right of access clauses for wholesale operators, Germany’s mobile networks could be opened up to a wide range of competitors, leading to more choice for the consumer and a good source of revenue for network operators.

"MVNO Europe members are prepared to pay a fair price for wholesale access, in a manner that will not only allow MNOs to make a fast and reasonable return on 5G investment, but also enable innovative developments fully capitalising on new network technologies," the statement concluded.