- Number-three player Telefónica Deutschland indicated increasingly convoluted network-sharing machinations in the country are not yet done and dusted, despite the recent provisional tie‑up between Vodafone Germany and Deutsche Telekom.
Number-three player Telefónica Deutschland indicated increasingly convoluted network-sharing machinations in the country are not yet done and dusted, despite the recent provisional tie‑up between Vodafone Germany (VfD) and Deutsche Telekom (DT). Markus Haas, the number-three operator’s Chief Executive, intimated that the VfD–DT link‑up was only a temporary snub, saying Telefónica was “still in talks with parties in order to benefit from network sharing in the mid‑term”. While insinuating deal-making was done for now, he suggested there remained room for a further tie‑up with VfD, or another player, in future. The VfD–DT deal, announced in February 2020, covers only 4,000 “selected” rural ‘grey spots’, while a further, government-prompted tie‑up between VfD, DT, and Telefónica in 2019 focuses on filling out ‘white spots’ with 6,000 new sites (Vodafonewatch, #179 and #183). With VfD 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 VfD or DT 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. VfD continues to appear focused on riding DT’s network strength, rather than giving Telefónica a piggyback that would dilute 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.