German operator United Internet has lowered its forecast for capital expenditure in 2022 to around EUR 700 million, compared with the EUR 800 million to EUR 1 billion expected before. The company explained that the lower capex is the result of a reduction in investments at 1&1 and 1&1 Versatel of around EUR 200 million. The subsidiaries of United Internet have postponed the investments, originally planned for this year, to 2023 due to the delays in the supply of antennae to build the 5G network.

United Internet confirmed the revenue forecast for the current fiscal year at approximately EUR 5.85 billion. Furthermore, EBITDA is expected to increase to around EUR 1.27 billion in 2022, compared to EUR 1.25 billion expected before, partly as a result of lower capex and lower investments in network rollout. In addition to the costs for the 1&1 network roll-out of EUR 60 million, the EBITDA forecast includes EUR 30 million for additional marketing activities at Ionos and around EUR 20 million in higher electricity costs.

The delayed mobile network roll-out at 1&1 is thought to be due to problems at Vantage Towers, one of three companies providing the operator with antenna sites. 1&1 told TelecomTV that Vodafone-controlled Vantage was its biggest partner in terms of volume, alongside ATC (American Tower) and GfTD. This was the same wording in its statement on the roll-out delay, that its biggest partner was unable to deliver the antennas expected by year-end.  Vantage Towers said it could not comment on 1&1’s statement. The company added that “the plan to provide 1&1 with at least 3,800 and potentially up to 5,000 sites (mainly co-locations) until the end of calendar year 2025 is unchanged”. The companies first announced their contract at the end of 2021.

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