Wednesday , 26 September 2018
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German regulator doubtful over legal basis to impose national roaming

German regulator doubtful over legal basis to impose national roaming

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has expressed doubts over the necessity of new regulations to support the launch of a fourth German mobile network, reported Golem.de. The regulator has “considerable legal concerns” over the proposed national mobile roaming conditions that a new entrant like United Internet would need to enter the German mobile market, wrote Golem.

In order for the regulator to impose roaming conditions ordering network operators to open their mobile networks for co-usage to other providers, it has to receive proof that existing mobile operators wield significant market power, said the BNetzA in a paper on the German mobile market. But neither the Federal Network Agency nor Germany’s Federal Cartel Office have found this to be the case in previous analyses of the German mobile market.

National roaming is viewed as a prerequisite for the construction of a fourth German mobile network, as a fourth operator would not be able to shoulder investments in its own network without the opportunity to use existing 3G or 4G networks during their initial operating phases. 

Still, Thomas Jarzombek, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats and rapporteur for the country’s broadband rollout, voiced his own disapproval of the BNetzA’s position on national roaming. Germany should instead discuss “new instruments” that would create obligations for national roaming, Jarzombek told German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

The Federal Network Agency will lay down concrete conditions for 5G licences and the allocation of frequency spectrum and make a final decision on national roaming requirements this autumn.

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