Cooperation between network operators:Additional up to 2,000 sites for network coverage in the O2 network in 2022
The German mobile network operators are implementing further initiatives to improve mobile coverage in rural areas. As part of their grey spots initiatives, the operators had each bilaterally agreed to share the network technology of the operator previously active there alone at several thousand locations. Customers of O2 Telefónica and its partner brands will be provided with 4G mobile reception at up to 2,000 additional locations this year via this and other cooperation agreements. This will enable an additional several 100,000 people to use the O2 network where they live. To the same extent, the company is making its own sites available to its competitors. Today, 99 percent of households in Germany can already use fast mobile broadband connections via 4G and over 30 percent of households can already use 5G from O2 Telefónica. Grey areas in the telecommunications networks are areas where so far only one provider offers mobile network access for its customers. Particularly in these areas, which are often less frequented, it is uneconomical for operators to build separate infrastructures and operate them with their own network technology. The agreements concluded are aimed at filling this gap in supply and profitability. In contrast to previous cooperative ventures, this "active network sharing" does not require the installation of a second separate radio technology or additional antennas. At the site, the operators then offer all customers fast 4G access on the 800 MHz frequency band.
"Germany must become more digital. To achieve this, German consumers and businesses are calling for rapid progress in mobile communications coverage. The cooperative joint use of sites by the three network operators active throughout Germany is an important step on this path and sends a good signal to Germany's mobile customers," says O2 Telefónica CEO Markus Haas.
Operator initiatives for improved network coverage
The three mobile network operators active throughout Germany have been pulling together for some time to open up areas that were previously completely unserved ("white spots"). Between 2021 and 2024, up to 6,000 completely new sites are to be built under an agreement. Each operator will build on a pro rata basis and grant the other participants a right to use the resulting passive network infrastructure. In the white spots, therefore, only the structural infrastructures such as radio masts and power supply as well as the transport network connection are shared; the transmission technology and antennas are provided here by each operator independently.