Germany’s Federal Network Agency (FNA, known locally as the Bundesnetzagentur or BNetzA) has announced that it has admitted four companies to participate in the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. The country’s three incumbent mobile network operators (MNOs) – Telekom Deutschland, Telefonica Deutschland and Vodafone Germany – will compete with Drillisch Netz, a wholly-owned subsidiary of telecoms company 1&1 Drillisch. The auction is scheduled to begin on 19 March, although the start date may need to be postponed due to legal proceedings filed by MNOs, which have objected to the conditions imposed on spectrum licence winners, including coverage obligations. Overall, a total of 420MHz in the 2100MHz and 3.6GHz bands will be auctioned off.
‘Frequencies for mobile spectrum are limited and therefore should be used efficiently in the interests of consumers,’ commented FNA President Jochen Homann, adding: ‘The Bundesnetzagentur has carried out a qualification procedure to check whether the applicants have the necessary competencies and means to roll out the network across the country. The admission of Drillisch Netz to the auction gives a further company the opportunity to acquire frequencies and strengthens competition.’