• Markus Haas, Chief Executive of Telefónica Deutschland, shrugged off a provisional network-sharing tie‑up between rivals Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Vodafone Germany, and the associated snub received by his business. 

O2 Germany shrugs off DT, Vodafone Germany network-sharing tie-up

O2 Germany shrugs off DT, Vodafone Germany network-sharing tie-up

Source: David Cohen / Unsplash

Markus Haas, Chief Executive of Telefónica Deutschland (O2 Germany), shrugged off a provisional network-sharing tie‑up between rivals Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Vodafone Germany, and the associated snub received by his business. Haas intimated that the DT–Vodafone link‑up would only create a temporary hiatus in network-sharing deals between Germany’s mobile network operators (MNO), saying O2 Germany was “still in talks with parties in order to benefit from network sharing in the mid‑term”. The DT–Vodafone deal, announced in February 2020, covers only 4,000 “selected” rural ‘grey spots’, while a further, government-prompted tie‑up between all three MNOs in 2019 focuses on filling out ‘white spots’ with 6,000 new sites (Vodafonewatch, #179 and #183). With Vodafone operating 19,400 sites overall, and DT about 30,000, Haas appears to have his eye on the sizeable areas of Germany that sit outside of those deals’ reach — including higher value, less remote districts. How quickly DT or Vodafone might acquiesce to a deal with Telefónica remains to be seen, however — especially as urban rooftop sites are seen as being at a particular premium in Germany, owing to landlords’ per-operator charging models and tighter EMF constraints. Vodafone continues to appear focused on riding DT’s network strength, rather than giving network-challenged Telefónica a piggyback that could threaten its number-two position. Fourth player Drillisch is said to remain in negotiations with the three major mobile operators, to advance its network expansion ambitions.