FNA: Consolidation in mobile market 'unlikely'

11 Jun 2010

Germany’s network regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), has said that consolidation in the mobile market is unlikely, but nevertheless would not be welcome, following the conclusion of the recent spectrum auction in the country, Dow Jones Newswires reports. ‘All mobile network providers have been able to double their spectrum, hence I consider a consolidation process unlikely,’ Matthias Kurth, president of the FNA, commented. He added that at present the mobile market is ‘balanced’, and as a result the regulator would not welcome consolidation. Germany’s wireless arena is home to four operators: incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom’s mobile arm T-Mobile, UK-based Vodafone Germany, Telefonica O2 Germany of Spain and Royal KPN’s local unit E-Plus. In the FNA’s mobile spectrum auction, which was concluded last month, E-Plus was the only cellco to walk away without spectrum in the so-called ‘digital dividend’ 800MHz band, which can be used to deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. This led to speculation that it could be subject of a bid by one of its rivals. Kurth responded that E-Plus is not required to roll out 4G networks in rural areas, a condition for buyers of digital dividend spectrum, and also noted that it paid considerably less than its competitors for new spectrum.