Open RAN newcomer 1&1 remained confident it would meet commercial 5G network rollout expectations in Germany, despite conceding it would fall short of the regulator’s interim target of deploying 1,000 sites by the end of the year due to an unnamed supplier issue.

The company cited supply bottlenecks for hampering its progress and causing it to miss the interim goal, which was set by regulator Bundesnetzagentur when it won 5G spectrum in an auction in 2019 under its previous guise of 1&1 Drillisch.

In a statement 1&1 indicated it expects to have deployed 1,000 5G antennas by mid-2023.

Despite delays the newcomer said it was still on track to deliver fixed wireless access 5G to some customers by the end of 2022 and mobile services using the latest network technology in mid-2023.

The company also indicated confidence it would meet the wider target of covering half of the country’s households by the end of 2030, noting it and its partners would “do everything in its power to fully make up for the delay that has now occurred in the ramp-up of the network rollout.”

Partner delays
1&1 is embracing open RAN in its ongoing deployment and signed-up Rakuten Communications Platform as a key partner in its rollout.

The company also has a national roaming agreement in place to bolster service availability and inked deals with tower companies to host infrastructure.

Discussing the expected failure to meet its interim target, 1&1 said when set the aim was “achievable in principle, but quite challenging for a new entrant”.

Without identifying the company causing the delay, it added: “While two roll-out partners are delivering according to contract, surprisingly the most significant partner in terms of volume, which has contractually committed to providing approximately two-thirds of the 1,000 antenna sites by the end of 2022, has recently reported problems meeting its obligations on time.”