The German Federal Network Agency  (Bundesnetzagentur) has set a deadline for 1&1 to give up the mobile service business provided by its subsidiary 1&1 Mobilfunk. It said 1&1 Mobilfunk will have to discontinue sales as a service provider by the end of 2023, and all its business activities as a service provider by the end of 2025. The subsidiary has been acting as a MVNO, but this conflicts with its emerging role as a mobile network operator.

According to the regulator, a mobile network operator cannot act as a service provider for another network operator, as this distorts competition. Therefore it is requesting that 1&1 should end its dual role. 

The Federal Network Agency has allowed 1&1 Mobilfunk to keep up its dual role only for a temporary period, following the spectrum auction in 2019 when the company acquired frequencies to build its own network. The regulator said it consulted several times with the company and others in the market on a timeline for phasing out the MVNO. 

1&1 is planning to start services on its own 5G network before the end of this year. However, the company said last month that it would miss its initial roll-out target due to problems with an infrastructure supplier.

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