1&1 to miss 5G interim target, but wider rollout remains on track

20 Sep 2022

Germany’s 1&1 – which is building the country’s fourth major mobile network – has disclosed that it will miss an interim 5G rollout target of deploying 1,000 sites by the end of this year due to an unnamed supplier issue, MobileWorldLive reported. The company cited supply bottlenecks for preventing it achieving the interim goal set by the regulator, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), when it won 5G spectrum in 2019. In a statement, however, 1&1 indicated it expects to reach the 1,000 5G antenna deployment milestone by mid-2023, whilst it was sticking to its targets of launching commercial fixed wireless access 5G in selected areas by end-2022 and mobile 5G services in mid-2023. The operator also remained confident in meeting its obligation to cover half the German population with its 5G network by the end of 2030.

A company statement said: ‘While two rollout partners are delivering according to contract, surprisingly the most significant partner in terms of volume, which has contractually committed to providing approximately two-thirds of the 1,000 antenna sites by the end of 2022, has recently reported problems meeting its obligations on time.’

1&1 is established as one of the largest network-independent telecoms providers in Germany, offering a portfolio of services and products based on DSL, fibre-optic, mobile voice and data services (currently via MVNO access to the mobile networks of Telefonica [O2] and Vodafone). In August 2021 1&1 contracted Rakuten Communications Platform as a key rollout partner for its in-deployment fully virtualised OpenRAN-based network, while it has secured a national roaming agreement with O2 and infrastructure hosting deals with tower companies. 1&1 reported the first live test of its in-deployment 5G network last month.

Germany, 1&1 (formerly 1&1 Drillisch)