Deutsche Telekom CEO Timotheus Hoettges (pictured) savaged Germany’s regulatory policies, stating potentially high prices caused by an artificially created 5G spectrum shortage could leave operators short of funds to build the network.
Speaking at the company’s shareholder meeting on the day the value of highest bids in the country’s spectrum auction exceeded €1 billion, the executive bemoaned the fact a quarter of available 5G allocations were not being offered to operators, noting this could push up the price of those being sold.
“Maximum investment and maximum regulation just do not go together,” he said.
“Some things just do not fit any more,” Hoettges added, citing a number of areas where outside influences are impacting its coverage goals.
“We want to build 2,000 new antennas a year, but it takes over two years to get the required approvals,” he noted. “We provide LTE on train routes, but not all railcars are equipped with repeaters.
Hoettges added: “We want to provide 5G nationwide, but a quarter of the available spectrum is not being auctioned. An artificial shortage is being created, which can push up the price. Then further down the line, there is no money for the build-out.”
The executive has previously been severely critical of the coverage targets and other policies placed on the country’s ongoing spectrum auction, including specific provisions to support a fourth operator.
During his address to investors, Hoettges reiterated calls for collaboration and the importance of all operators investing in new networks across the country to deliver 5G.
“We will only get there by working with others,” he added. “A player with a market share of 40 per cent cannot build all of the new networks. And no regulator on earth wants a new monopoly.”