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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Xetra  >  Deutsche Telekom AG    DTE   DE0005557508

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM AG

(DTE)
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German 5G auction roaming proposal keeps barriers high for new entrants

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08/31/2018 | 07:30am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A 5G sign is seen during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

BERLIN (Reuters) - German mobile phone operators will not be required to allow national roaming when they roll-out 5G services, the country's network agency said in a document, which could make it harder for new entrants to take on the incumbent providers.

The auction for the 5G, or fifth generation, spectrum licences in Europe's largest telecoms market is planned for early 2019 and details are being closely-watched to determine whether smaller contenders will have a realistic chance to compete with the established players.

The three existing operators - Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland - have pushed back against calls from potential entrants and the German cartel office for auction terms that would lower barriers to entry.

But there are concerns among industry analysts that market concentration has left Europe's largest economy lagging its rivals in the race to build network-dependent connected factories or put self-driving cars on the road.

Germany's antitrust regulator last week called for a fourth mobile operator to enter the market for the 5G auction, rebutting arguments from the "Big Three" that more competition would hit investment.

The proposed terms for the 5G auction, laid out in a document from network agency Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), do not include a binding commitment to allow national roaming - which would let a new entrant rent network access where it lacks coverage - a key demand of smaller player United Internet, which is considering bidding.

Without the roaming commitment the incumbent operators can choose whether or not they want to allow the new entrants access to their networks, for example, in rural areas.

The proposed terms, which will be discussed by BNetzA's advisory board on Sept. 24, also foresee that at least 98 percent of German households need to be supplied with a high-speed connection of 100 megabits per second by the end of 2022.

At least 50 megabits per second must be available for busy regional and long-distance railroad traffic lines.

"The coverage obligations may not be not quite as extraordinary as BNetzA describes them but at first sight do impose material capex requirements on the network operators, in our view," Jefferies analysts wrote in a note.

Asked about auction proceeds, BNetzA president Jochen Homann told German paper Handelsblatt that the government was unlikely to generate proceeds in line with those from the UMTS, or 3G, auction in 2000, which amounted to 50 billion euros (44.85 billion pounds).

Deutsche Telekom, late on Thursday, said it expected the BNetzA to refrain from further regulatory interventions into the mobile phone market, adding the proposals were counterproductive.

Vodafone, meantime, criticised requirements to supply federal main roads with 100 megabits per second as "unacceptable", warning of high costs.

(Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik and Markus Wacket. Writing by Christoph Steitz. Editing by Jane Merriman and Kirsten Donovan)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DEUTSCHE TELEKOM AG -0.58% 14.684 Delayed Quote.-0.92%
TELEFONICA DEUTSCHLAND HOLDING 1.32% 2.227 Delayed Quote.-34.84%
UNITED INTERNET -0.08% 26 Delayed Quote.-31.94%
VODAFONE GROUP PLC 1.92% 129.34 Delayed Quote.-15.41%
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Financials (EUR)
Sales 2019 80 785 M
EBIT 2019 5 330 M
Net income 2019 4 285 M
Debt 2019 65 165 M
Yield 2019 5,13%
P/E ratio 2019 16,8x
P/E ratio 2020 14,2x
EV / Sales2019 1,67x
EV / Sales2020 1,63x
Capitalization 69 800 M
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Timotheus Höttges Chairman-Management Board & CEO
Ulrich Lehner Chairman-Supervisory Board
Christian P. Illek Chief Financial Officer
Claudia Nemat Head-Technology & Innovation
Michael Sommer Member-Supervisory Board
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