1&1 AG is working as a new entrant on the establishment of a new mobile network based on the innovative OpenRAN technology. Important milestones have already been reached in this process. In the next step, 1&1 will offer its first broadband services for the home from December. These will be up to 1 Gbit/s fast and will be provided using high-performance 5G technology. Mobile services are scheduled to be offered from next summer.
The frequency requirements of the Federal Network Agency stipulate the installation of 1,000 5G antenna sites by the end of 2022 as an interim target for all network operators. This target is achievable in principle, but quite challenging for a new entrant.
After 1&1 had been negotiating national roaming with the established network operators for over two years and was only able to conclude a corresponding agreement after the EU Commission intervened in May last year, three high-performance infrastructure providers were immediately commissioned to roll out the network.
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. Following in-depth discussions, the roll-out partner has made efforts to implement various acceleration measures and increase its roll-out speed. However, these efforts were unfortunately unsuccessful. Today, 1&1 received final notification that the antenna sites agreed at the end of the year can only be provided after a significant delay.
1&1 is working hard to close this gap with its other partners and minimize the delay. However, the interim target of 1,000 5G sites is not expected to be reached until summer next year.
The delayed construction of the first sites will not affect the originally planned network launch mentioned at the beginning. The delay will also not affect the fulfilment of the coverage obligations assumed by 1&1 – 1&1 remains on track to achieve the planned coverage rate of 50% of all households well before the end of 2030 and, together with its roll-out partners, will do everything in its power to fully make up for the delay that has now occurred in the ramp-up of the network roll-out.