Telefónica Deutschland transfers 7,700 mobile towers to Deutsche Telekom

Telefónica Deutschland is transferring 7,700 redundant mobile-tower sites to Deutsche Telekom as part of the ongoing integration of the O2 and E-Plus networks in Germany.

The operator said the financial impact of the transfer has already been included in the previously announced synergies from the merger of the two operators following its acquisition last year of E-Plus from KPN. The relevant sites will be taken over as soon as approval by the antitrust authority has been granted.

Cayetano Carbajo Martín, CTO of Telefónica Deutschland, said the agreement with Deutsche Telekom brings clear advantages for all concerned and would enable Telefónica to concentrate its resources on its LTE rollout. The company noted that transferring sites represents a less complicated option than dismantling redundant network sites, which is not only expensive but also takes time and ties up personnel.

Telefónica Deutschland will also be able to use the sites--which are mostly located on the roofs of buildings--without restriction until they become unnecessary through the integration of the O2 and E-Plus networks.

For its part, Deutsche Telekom said the takeover of the additional sites would enable it to expand its network at a faster rate. The company's head of technology Bruno Jacobfeuerborn also noted that the agreement would enable Telefónica and Telekom to "intensify" their joint use of mobile towers.

Once it has completed the integration of the two networks, Telefónica Deutschland said it will operate more than 25,000 sites across Germany. The company has already formed a national roaming agreement as the first step in the integration process, and is now accelerating the expansion of its LTE network.

Following the acquisition of E-Plus, Telefónica Deutschland is now the largest mobile operator in Germany by subscribers. According to the 2014 market report from regulator Bundesnetzagentur, the company has a 37 per cent share of the market with more than 42 million subscribers. Telekom and Vodafone Germany have shares of 35 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

The three operators recently spent a combined €5 billion ($5.4 billion) on new spectrum licences in the 700 MHz, 900 MHz, 1500 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. Vodafone Germany spent the most at over €2 billion, while Telefónica Deutschland spent €1,198,238,000 and Deutsche Telekom €1,792,156,000.

For more:
- see this Telefónica Deutschland release

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