Telefonica Deutschland, Germany’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, has completed the consolidation of its O2 and E-Plus UMTS networks. All of the company’s wireless customers are now able to benefit from national roaming between the two networks, with the combined UMTS infrastructure reaching around 90% of the population and supporting data rates of up to 42Mbps. ‘We are thrilled to have successfully accomplished a great logistical and technical challenge by making national roaming available to all our customers,’ commented Telefonica Deutschland’s COO Markus Haas, adding: ‘It is our aim to provide our customers with the best network experience in the German market. Successfully implementing national roaming is an important step in this direction.’ 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. Telefonica is working to expand its LTE network, which is expected to cover over 75% of the population by the end of this year and 90% by end-2016.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Telefonica Deutschland completed its EUR8.55 billion (USD9.51 billion) acquisition of Dutch telecoms company KPN’s German mobile unit E-Plus in October 2014. The merger transformed the combined entity into Germany’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers; Telefonica Deutschland recorded a wireless subscriber base of 41.711 million at the end of 2014 (giving it a market share of 38.4%), ahead of former market leader Telekom Deutschland (TD) with 35.315 million (32.5%) and Vodafone Germany with 31.515 million (29.0%). 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.