Deutsche Telekom (DT), which operates in its domestic market via its Telekom Deutschland unit, is proposing cooperation talks with United Internet’s 1&1 Drillisch subsidiary on the joint expansion of fibre-optic networks, writes Reuters. ‘I’m making a binding offer to 1&1 that we immediately start to lay fibre-optic cable together to connect more than five million homes in Germany to the fast broadband network,’ DT’s CEO Tim Hoettges told the Funke media group in an interview. In response, United Internet CEO Ralph Dommermuth said he was willing to explore the offer and said the two companies had talked to each other about a potential alliance, adding that the joint venture should be 75% backed by DT and 25% by United Internet, to reflect their respective shares of the fixed broadband market.
The development comes on the back of an announcement by United Internet that it would consider bidding in Germany’s 5G mobile spectrum auction next year. The firm said that the Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as the Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA) would need to create the right conditions for it to become the fourth network operator, however, for example by allowing national roaming, which would allow a new player to rent network access where it lacks coverage.