German fixed line operator Arcor has launched a WiMAX network in Kaiserslautern. The new network allows the Vodafone-owned telco to offer broadband internet access to users in parts of the city that do not have cable or DSL access. The WiMAX service is branded AirMAX and offers maximum download speeds of 1Mbps as well as VoIP telephony services for a monthly fee of EUR39.95.
In July 2005 UK-based Vodafone Group indicated that it would begin looking for a buyer for Arcor in 2006, after denying press reports that there was already a sale in progress. But whilst the German telco continues to expand – and its potential market value continues to rise – its owner is in no hurry to offload it. Mooted international suitors include France Télécom, Telefónica, Belgacom and KPN, in addition to several major private equity houses. Vodafone owns 73.6% of Arcor with Deutsche Bahn holding 18.4% and Deutsche Bank the remaining 8%.