Höttges offers to share fibre costs with rival carrier
Deutsche Telekom boss Tim Höttges has hit out at competitor 1&1 Drillisch over 5G plans but has offered to build a jointly owned fibre network with its rival.
Höttges criticised 1&1 Drillisch for its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services because it “wants to be able to access the networks of the three large network operators”, while facilities-based operators have to invest in spectrum.
Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone have invested “billions in infrastructure”, Höttges said in a newspaper interview with the Funke group of newspapers.
1&1 Drillisch, owned by United Internet, says it wants to invest in 5G spectrum, but CEO Ralph Dommermuth has said he wants to have transitional national roaming agreements with all three existing operators. 1&1 Drillisch uses Telefónica infrastructure for its current MVNO service.
Dommermuth said in a separate newspaper interview, with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, that “newcomers must be able to automatically use the previous network generations when needed” before they had fully developed their own 5G networks.
National roaming would be “at very low prices”, said Höttges in his interview. “That’s unfair competition.”
However he has offered Dommermuth the opportunity to share the cost of building out fibre networks. He suggested “that we now lay common fibre optic cable and connect nationwide more than five million households to the fast broadband network.” The costs would be shared in half, he said, but did not estimate the total cost for the project.