Vodafone seeks legal action against DT over bitstream service

1 Sep 2010

German business newspaper Handelsblatt reports that Vodafone Germany, the local unit of UK telecoms firm Vodafone Group, is seeking legal action against incumbent telco Deutsche Telekom (DT) over its bitstream access service. According to Vodafone Germany CEO Friedrich Joussen, the company has filed a complaint with telecoms regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA), stating that DT is creating obstacles to competition in the fixed line sector – as the bitstream access service it provides is inadequate – and is abusing its dominant position in the market. The UK-based company has also launched action with a number of courts for loss of sales, although Joussen declined to comment on how much compensation the company is seeking. Vodafone uses bitstream access over DT’s fixed network to provide its own DSL service in parts of Germany where its own network does not reach. Joussen notes that around one-third of customers who have ordered a Vodafone DSL connection using bitstream access from DT have never been served, corresponding to approximately 40,000 customers. Meanwhile, the German Competitive Carriers Association (VATM) states that the quality of DT’s bitstream service is poor, with a 50% error rate. In response, a spokesman at DT said that the current problems have been caused by the introduction of a new IT system designed to simplify connections to its network.