Dow Jones Newswires reports that the German subsidiary of UK-based telecoms company Vodafone Group is investing less in its fixed line operations as it aims to capitalise on the growth potential of the wireless market. Vodafone Germany’s chief executive, Friedrich Joussen, cited unattractive regulation in the fixed line sector and better prospects for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology as the main reasons behind the shift. As a result of its increasing focus on LTE, Vodafone is scaling back marketing of its fixed line offerings in Germany. According to Joussen, Germany’s last-mile fee – set by network regulator the Federal Network Agency (FNA) – is still too high, despite a reduction in the rate from EUR10.2 (USD14.4) to EUR10.08 in April 2011.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodafone Germany commercially launched LTE services under the ‘LTE Zuhause’ banner on 1 December 2010. The company is using its 800MHz frequencies, won at auction in May 2010, to deploy 4G technology in areas where no broadband access of any kind is currently available, known as ‘white spots’. Vodafone has selected Huawei and Ericsson as technology partners and eventually plans to upgrade all base station sites in Germany to LTE. It planned to cover 1,500 municipalities by end-March 2011 and aims to provide coverage to the vast majority of municipalities by the end of the year.