Germany’s biggest network operators file lawsuit against Federal Network Agency over 5G auction

Germany’s biggest network operators, including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica Deutschland and Vodafone have sued the market regulator for placing new preconditions in the country’s 5G auctions which are to take place in early 2019.

As per a report by German newspaper Die Welt, Deutsche Telekom has filed a lawsuit against Federal Network Agency for setting preconditions for participating in the auction of next generation mobile network frequencies.

Germany has made it compulsory for bidders of 5G mobile frequencies to invest and expand the country’s mobile network, thus potentially allowing new players to use existing infrastructure.

The Federal Network Agency has set January 25, 2019 as the deadline for submitting auctions and stated that the sale would begin in early 2019; Its preconditions for participation have drawn protests from Germany’s main network operators, including Deutsche Telekom.

Under the revised rules, new market entrants which don’t have their own existing network, such as United Internet, can bid for a 5G license.

According to Deutsche Telekom’s lawsuit, the preconditions calls into question its investments and discourages further development and expansion of its network infrastructure, especially in thinly populated localities, such as rural areas, stated Die Welt citing a spokesman for Deutsche Telekom.

Deutsche Telekom did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Three of Germany’s biggest network operators, including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica Deutschland and Vodafone have sued the Federal Network Agency to determine the legal status of the new preconditions.

Incidentally, Germany has a 31.9% stake in Deutsche Telekom.

The suit has been filed with an administrative court in Cologne, Germany.

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