Telefonica O2 is to merge its mobile and fixed-line businesses in Germany in a bid to target the converged services market. As well as bundling its wholesale, business and consumer activities into a single business unit, the move will merge O2 Germany’s mobile network and Telefonica Deutschland’s fixed-line network into what it calls a single network area. The new business unit will use the common name ‘Telefonica O2 Germany’ and will be headed by Johannes Pruchnow, currently the CEO of Telefonica Deutschland. “Offers combining landline and mobile communications are becoming increasingly important, for business customers in particular,” said Pruchnow. “The new business division enables us to further expand our portfolio consisting of mobile, Internet access and VPNs.”

Telefonica’s decision to merge the two units closely mirrors a similar move made by German rival T-Mobile two months ago. The Deutsche Telekom-owned incumbent operator has integrated its domestic mobile and fixed businesses in order to pursue a more regional focus, and noted that the distinction between the two networks would be “abolished.” Another major operator in Germany – Vodafone – owns a local fixed-line business (Arcor) but currently runs the businesses as separate units.