National roaming: 1 & 1 Drillisch hardly gets any further with 5G network expansion

1 & 1 Drillisch is not making any progress in expanding its 5G network because the calls on national roaming would be delayed by the three network operators. "Negotiations for national roaming are not easy", said Ralph Dommermuth, head of 1 & 1 Drillisch, on March 26, 2020 in the telephone conference to announce the business figures for 2019. The three network operators have sued against the terms and conditions of the frequencies, "and are not in a hurry to negotiate. We're making little progress"said Dommermuth. One speaks with the Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica.

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1 & 1 Drillisch already had 5.7 million euros in 2019 for planning and preparing their own 5G network. In 2020, the company plans to continue preparing for the expansion of the 5G network, and concrete expansion should not begin until 2021.

"We need national roaming so that we can use the networks of other providers during the construction phase of our network"said Dommermuth. There is a negotiation requirement in Germany. "We are also talking about infrastructure sharing, that is, sharing existing antenna sites that still have capacity"he explained.

"We can only be specific with the network equipment suppliers if we have national roaming. Depending on the conditions, we will build a different network. We actually intended to complete this by the end of September 2019"said Dommermuth.

In addition, 1 & 1 Drillisch is in the process of expanding the 1 & 1 Versatel fiber optic network in order to prepare 5G, "because in the future we want to pass through with a large capacity because the individual antenna locations are to be connected to this network"said Dommermuth.

For this, the company acquired Spektrum in 2019. "We have 5 x 10 MHz in the 3.6 GHz range and 2x 10 MHz in the 2 GHz range. The 2 GHz frequencies will only be available from 2026. In the transition period until then, we rented frequencies from Telefónica we already have it, so that we are already in a position to use the spectrum. We have thus laid the foundation stone for successfully positioning ourselves as a mobile operator last year. "said Dommermuth.

DSL is increasingly using the infrastructure of sister company 1 & 1 Versatel. Dommermuth: "It offers us VDSL and vectoring. This happens via a layer 2 infrastructure. The transport network of 1 & 1 Versatel is connected to transfer points of the Telekom. We also have cooperations with large city networks and city carriers."

As a mobile service provider without its own network (MVNO), 1 & 1 Drillisch has 9.9 million customers with its various brands. "We purchase our services from Telefónica. We do not yet have our own network. Due to the merger requirements for the merger of Telefónica and E-Plus, we have access to up to 30 percent of Telefónica's network capacity and still receive instructions from Vodafone"said Dommermuth.

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