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German regulator expected to fine 1&1 for failing to hit roll-out targets

The emerging fourth operator has failed to hit its 5G base station target by the end of 2022.

The German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur has reported that the country’s regulator, the Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA) has opened a proceeding against the company.

1&1 became Germany’s fourth national mobile operator after acquiring spectrum at the country’s 2019 auction but it largely operates as an MVNO.

As part of the auction requirements, the company committed to deploying 1,000 5G sites by the end of last year. In reality, the operator has built just five base stations.

Now, the BNetzA has begun the procedure to fine 1&1. It is unclear how high this fine could end up being, however, previous documents from the regulator suggest they could be as high as €50,000 per missing base station.

1&1 said that the delays in the deployment of its 5G network infrastructure were the consequence of technical problems with its partners.

The company’s largest buildout partner Vantage Towers is owned by competing mobile operator Vodafone. Earlier this year, 1&1 complained to the country’s competition regulator about Vantage Towers’ behaviour.

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