Deutsche Telekom urged the German government to auction frequencies for 5G in a way which will not sap operator funds and so leave them with money to invest in infrastructure.

“We can only spend each euro once, either on spectrum or on network build-out. My suggestion would be on build-out,” CEO Timotheus Hoettges (pictured, fourth from right) said during a speech at the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

The government hopes to raise billions of euros in proceeds from an auction, which will now be held in early 2019 rather than this year as originally planned.

Hoettges added 5G was of strategic importance to Europe in order to “bring the IoT to life” and investments for networks must be taken into account in upcoming spectrum auctions. In addition, he said spectrum should be awarded “uniformly throughout Europe.”

Stating that Deutsche Telekom invests more than all of its competitors put together, he called for increased competition in Germany, adding other companies must also invest in new networks instead of simply criticising or “staying cozy in regulated markets.”

Earlier this month Deutsche Telekom announced the “first 5G antennas in Europe” are now live. In terms of broadband, the operator is pursuing a strategy of “billions for millions,” said Hoettges.

The targets for the next stage of its broadband plan is to provide 26 million households with up to 100Mb/s, and 15 million households with as much as 250Mb/s by the end of the year.

US deal
Hoettges also commented on Sprint’s merger with T-Mobile US: “There is no opportunity without risks – risks that must be taken if we are to open up new horizons. I am convinced that this business combination is the best thing for the US market and for Deutsche Telekom – and that goes for the long term”.

Last week the CEO hailed the operator’s perfomance on both sides of the Atlantic during Q1, pointing to its “unique growth profile” and positive impact of convergence in many of its European markets.