Germany-headquartered United Internet outlined plans to participate in an upcoming 5G auction through its subsidiary, MVNO 1&1 Drillisch, as part of a goal to establish the country’s fourth mobile operator.

In a statement, the company said its board had cleared it to apply to participate in the sale of mobile frequencies in the 2GHz and 3.6GHz bands. If it is successful, it will then “establish and operate a 5G mobile network”.

In December 2018, United Internet CEO Ralph Dommermuth had criticised the auction’s terms and conditions for not being “rigorous enough” and posing “a significant challenge to the market entry of a new provider”.

Now, in a separate (related) statement, he said: “We have advocated for greater competition and the resulting impetus for a rapid expansion of the 5G network in Germany. We now want to form the basis to support Germany in becoming a leading 5G market as the fourth network operator in the mobile communications market”.

Drillisch currently operates as an MVNO, but noted building its own network will help it reduce costs and enable it to help start-ups with IoT.

The company has also agreed with a European banking consortium on credit lines of €2.8 billion.

Earlier this year Deutsche Telekom filed a legal case against controversial rules set for the auction, following similar action from local units of Telefonica and Vodafone.