Telefonica Germany has revealed that it will make the UMTS networks of O2 and E-Plus available to all of its customers nationwide by mid-April. ‘The introduction of national roaming is the starting signal for Telefonica Deutschland’s new network. Hence, in terms of network our customers and partners will experience the first tangible benefits of the merger,’ noted the firm’s CEO Thorsten Dirks, adding: ‘With the joined network coverage, we will provide them with the best network experience via UMTS in Germany, and are pleased that we are able to realise this technological large-scale project for our customers ahead of schedule.’ In cities, customers can expect a denser network coverage especially in buildings, while in rural areas, coverage will be ‘considerably expanded’. The national roaming will also support positive customer experience during the future integration of the two network infrastructures, with full consolidation expected for completion within the next five years. At the same time, Telefonica Germany is expanding its LTE network, which currently covers 62% of the population; the firm plans to increase this to 90% by the end of 2016.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Telefonica Germany announced the completion of its EUR8.55 billion (USD11.9 billion) acquisition of Dutch telecoms company KPN’s German mobile unit E-Plus in October 2014, creating an operator with almost 47 million customer connections. Spanish telecoms group Telefonica holds a 62.1% stake in the combined entity, while KPN owns 20.5%; the remaining 17.4% is in free float.