Deutsche Telekom (DT) CEO Timotheus Hoettges urged regulators not to force national roaming on operators as part of its 5G auction conditions, or risk hampering investment in rural parts of Germany, Financial Times reported.
Speaking at an investor conference in Barcelona, Hoettges reportedly said any move to make operators share radio access equipment – rather than just passive equipment such as masts – would be the “end of rural buildout”.
DT has been vocal against the imposition of a national roaming policy in recent months, arguing those installing equipment in less profitable areas of the country would be made to share it at a pre-set cost to rivals who had not made the same level of investment.
Hours after the comments, industry association the GSMA added its voice against “unnecessary conditions” in Germany’s upcoming auction, pointing to specific coverage requirements. Director general Mats Granryd said by adding certain requirements Germany risked “undercutting its 5G future”.
The GSMA, however, did welcome the regulator’s decision to release the entire 3.4 to 3.8 GHz band for 5G services.
While DT has been the most vocal of the country’s operators outlining what it expects to be – and not be – in the auction terms, it has not been alone, with Telefonica Germany and potential new entrant United Internet also making demands.
The final terms of Germany’s 5G auction are expected to be unveiled in the last week of November. There are concerns from some parties that conditions could include national roaming, reserved airwaves for a fourth operator or a set allocation for industries to rollout private IoT networks.
In designing the rules regulators also face pressure from politicians who have set out their own agendas and wish lists.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back