Operators remain bitter as Germany’s €6.6 billion 5G auction comes to an end

Deutsche Telekom has secured mobile frequencies worth €2.17 billion for its planned 5G rollout, bringing the auction of spectrum for 5G in the country to a close.

Vodafone Deutschland CEO Hannes Ametsreiter makes his 5G video call in Düsseldorf

Telekom acquired four blocks of frequency in the 2GHz band and nine blocks in the 3.6GHz band.

The auction was bitterly contested by participants who complained about the high price extracted for spectrum, which Telekom claimed would hold back the rollout of 5G in the country. Telekom Deutschland management board member Dirk Wössner said that spectrum in Germany had been “much more expensive than in other countries” and added that “network operators now lack the money to build out their networks”.

Telekom will now apply to the Bundesnetzagentur, the Federal Networks Agency, for permission to use the frequencies it has acquired.

Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefónica and Drillisch, the four particpants, paid a total of about €6.6 billion to secure spectrum for 5G.

Vodafone, Telekom’s main multiplay rival in the German market, today staked its claim to have launched Germany’s first 5G call, by its local CEO Hannes Ametsreiter.

Ametsreiter said that German operators could “still repair the damage” of the 5G auction by creating an alliance to build the network.

Both Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone made the point that 50,000 new mobile base stations could have been built using the money spent on frequency spectrum licences.

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