1&1 Mobilfunk, a subsidiary of German telecoms company 1&1, has announced that it is filing a complaint with the Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) over what it claims are ‘ongoing obstacles to the rollout of its 5G mobile network resulting from actions by Vodafone’.

In 2021 1&1 agreed with Vantage Towers – majority owned by Vodafone Group – for the shared use of 3,800 existing antenna sites for the new 1&1 network. The contract agreement defined expansion targets for 2022 which 1&1 claims were missed ‘almost completely’ and at the end of last year 1&1 had a total of only five 5G antenna sites. According to 1&1, Vodafone is planning and developing the shared use of Vantage Towers antenna sites by other network operators in Germany, and in contrast had 1,600 5G antenna sites based on Vantage Towers infrastructure at the same date. Vantage Towers presented a new 1&1 rollout schedule at the end of 2022 but the has now informed 1&1 that there will be further delays and that the new rollout plan will not be fulfilled either.

1&1 has claimed that Vodafone is receiving preferential treatment regarding Vantage Towers’ rollout activities but says it is ‘doing everything possible to construct its new mobile network as quickly as possible’. The renewed delay in the provision of antenna sites may have an impact on its launch of mobile services planned for Q3 2023, in particular because the technical certification processes required for this partly presuppose a certain minimum number of antenna sites, with 1&1 noting that it is reviewing the schedule for the further network rollout.

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