E-Plus takes legal action against FNA over mobile frequency auction

24 Nov 2009

German mobile operator E-Plus has announced it has filed two lawsuits at the Administrative Court of Cologne against the telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), regarding the planned mobile frequency auction set for early 2010. The first lawsuit concerns the fact that the auction could see larger rivals T-Mobile Deutschland and Vodafone Germany come away with more of the mobile spectrum freed up from the switchover from analogue to digital television (digital dividend), even though they already have more spectrum than the two smaller players, E-Plus and Telefonica O2 Germany. E-Plus has filed a second lawsuit against the auction conditions, stating that they endanger the long term broadband plans of the federal government to bring download speeds of at least 1Mbps to the whole population by end-2010.

Meanwhile, O2 has also filed summary proceedings against the auction, teltarif.de reports, while the European Commission opened an infringement procedure against Germany last month for failing to allocate the 2500MHz-2690MHz radio frequency band suitable for the provision of fixed-wireless services. At present, Germany only allocates this frequency band to mobile services, which according to EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding is an obstacle to the deployment of wireless broadband services in Germany and Europe, and is a violation of EU law.