It feels like big brothers: Telekom and Vodafone want bits of their mobile networks with each other and with Telefónica / O in the future2 Swears. Specifically, it concerns areas previously provided only by one of the three service providers, as customers of the other two companies do not receive a reception.
These dead spots, also referred to as “gray spots” due to supply by only one provider, will now be closed, for at least 2,400 total sites in Germany.
To achieve this, they want to “share active network technology,” according to press releases from the three companies involved. It is “outside the residential areas and especially away from the main traffic roads,” as it is identically stated in the notices. Telefónica / O explains: “In these lower-frequency areas especially, it is often uneconomic for operators to create and operate separate infrastructures with their network technology.”2.
Intervention cartel office and network agency
In fact, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone already decided on a very similar collaboration nearly a year ago, and wanted to share parts of their infrastructure with each other. However, this was opposed by the Federal Network Agency and the Federal Cartel Office. “Cooperation between Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone without Telefónica participating would be problematic from our point of view,” explains the cartel’s chief of office, Andreas Mondt. Therefore, one must expand the cooperation to Telefónica / O2 Paid.
With Telekom and Vodafone pioneering network quality, an exclusive cooperation agreement would have enabled the two companies, according to the Cartel Federal Office, to “expand their competitive advantage without having to expand their new locations.” Expected benefits from Telefónica / O2 “It’s practically impossible to catch up.” This, in turn, may cause harm to consumers.
Jochen Homan, head of the Federal Network Agency, said that the cooperation between the three operators now agreed could “contribute significantly to better mobile phone coverage in Germany, and this will lead to improved mobile phone coverage, especially for residents in rural areas.
One antenna, three grids
The triple-use model for existing antenna sites is made possible through a process known as a multi-operator core network (MOCN). The radio station identifies itself to user devices with IDs of all three network operators. In this way, devices can log into the respective cellular network regardless of the operator. In any case, it appears to the user as if he is moving in the network of his contracting partner, regardless of which company actually operates the portable radio station in question.
According to Telekom, this cooperation can be achieved without installing new antennas or new technology. According to the company, the result is that customers get “4G access on the 800MHz frequency band,” meaning a relatively long range LTE network.