1&1 actually wanted to launch its own mobile network at the end of September 2023. But the plans are on hold for the time being. This is also due to a pending decision by the Federal Network Agency.
The mobile networks in Germany are currently divided between three providers. Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica O2 have shared the mobile phone networks since 2014.
Other mobile phone providers have to access these networks if they want to offer mobile phone contracts to their customers. That’s what 1&1 has been doing so far – the company uses Telefonica O2’s mobile network for its offers.
However, that should actually change at the end of the month. Because 1&1 wanted to launch its own mobile network. However, nothing will come of this, as the company reports.
That’s why 1&1 is postponing the start of its mobile network
Since 1&1 has previously used the Telefonica O2 network, the provider is considered a so-called virtual network operator. However, the company loses this status if it puts its own mobile network into operation. Conversely, this would mean that after a certain transition period, the network operator would no longer be allowed to sell contracts that access the Telefonica O2 network.
And it is precisely this transition period that is the problem for the network operator. Because 1&1 has applied to the Federal Network Agency for an extension of this deadline – but is currently still waiting for a decision.
The extension is necessary because 1&1 wants to work with Vodafone from next summer. From then on, customers will be provided with 5G from Vodafone wherever 1&1 cannot yet offer its own network.
When will the 1&1 mobile network come out?
So far there is a gap in 1&1’s plans that could only be filled with a positive decision by the Federal Network Agency. The company probably didn’t want to take the risk in the event of a rejection.
This is not the first time that 1&1 has postponed the launch of its mobile network. The group actually wanted to connect 1,000 antennas to the network for the 5G network at the end of last year.
But due to delivery difficulties during the expansion, 1&1 had to postpone these plans. Now the start date for the cell phone network from Montabaur has been postponed again. It is expected that the network will be launched in December.