Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone agree active 4G rural sharing

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone agree active 4G rural sharing

17 February 2020 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone are to work together to improve LTE coverage in rural Germany.

They will start active network sharing at 4,000 base stations to fill so-called grey spots in the country.

This latest deal follows an earlier agreement between Germany’s three large operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone plus Telefónica, which owns O2 Germany – to close completely blank spots at 6,000 locations.

Telekom Deutschland CEO Dirk Wössner (pictured, right) said: “We work with our competitor so that even more people in Germany can use a better network.”

Telekom Deutschland is Deutsche Telekom’s local operating company within Germany.

Vodafone Germany CEO Hannes Ametsreiter (pictured, left) said: “Together we can create even more network for Germany – and close grey spots in which Vodafone or Telekom customers have so far had no reception.”

Wössner added: “Cooperation is becoming more and more important when it comes to network expansion - regardless of whether it is broadband or mobile communications.”

The collaboration will take place in areas where either Deutsche Telekom or Vodafone – but not both – have 4G coverage. “With the planned cooperation, we can make an important contribution to better and uninterrupted LTE coverage in Germany,” said Wössner.

So far the two have just signed a letter of intent. Now they need the approval of two regulators, Germany’s Bundeskartellamt – the Federal Cartel Office – and BNetzA, the Federal Network Agency.

Each company will provide the other with an equal number of mobile phone locations for LTE coverage, focusing on rural regions and important traffic routes – about 2,000 sites each.

The deal does not exclude collaboration with other operators, they said.

Last year’s agreement, including Telefónica in Germany, is aimed at joint creation of 6,000 new base stations, especially along traffic roads – roads, rails and rivers.

Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland, said at the time: “This collaboration is an excellent example of intelligent collaboration and the next logical step. Because we have to pull together if we want to strengthen Germany as a leading business location and lead it into the future.”