DT wants to cooperate with competitors to expand fibre networks

22 Oct 2008

Wiwo.de reports that German incumbent Deutsche Telekom (DT) is considering a radical change in strategy that would see it building fibre-optic infrastructure jointly with its competitors, a move that it expects will save it billions of euros in capital expenditure. Until recently, the former monopoly had insisted on building and operating all of its own networks. DT’s fixed line division boss Timotheus Hottges is said to be changing the company’s battle plans and is negotiating with several competitors to install last mile fibre connections. DT and its DSL competitors need high bandwidth networks in order to offer bundled voice, video, and internet services, and to compete more effectively with cable TV providers, which have been making inroads in the broadband market.

One of the companies in negotiation with DT is the municipally-owned cableco NetCologne; the two are allegedly considering a joint investment in Aachen. To ensure full coverage, each service provider would be obliged to provide its rival with access to each other’s network. DT has already informed the competition authorities, who would need to approve such a venture. Hottges would like to expand the model to other cities, and his view is that cooperation with competitors is a good alternative to being compelled to provide access to its fibre networks by the regulator BundesNetzAgentur (BNetzA).

Germany, Deutsche Telekom (DT), NetCologne