German telecom sector ambitious for gigabit society by 2025

Germany has one of Europe’s largest telecom markets, as befits a country with a population of more than 82 million. Penetration in the broadband and mobile sectors is about average for the region. Both the fixed network and broadband markets are dominated by Telekom Deutschland, though other notable players including freenet, Vodafone and Telefónica. These altnets have gained market share as the incumbent continues to struggle against regulated network access conditions and market competition, both of which have led to declining revenue during the last few years.

The number of mobile subscribers approaches 114 million. In common with most developed markets, the main driver for growth is in mobile data, with the number of mobile broadband subscribers having increased rapidly in recent years on the back of universally available 3G infrastructure and the extensive reach of LTE networks. Operators have invested in MIMO and carrier aggregation technologies to provide improved data rates. Looking forward, there is also increasing activity in 5G, with Deutsche Telekom in February 2017 announcing its intention to provide 5G across its networks from 2020.

The mobile market is dominated by a triopoly of MNOs, led by Telefónica Germany and followed by Telekom Deutschland (Deutsche Telekom’s domestic unit) and Vodafone Germany. Telefónica’s acquisition of E-Plus created an operator which by early 2017 had more than 44 million subscribers, while Telekom Deutschland had almost 42 million and Vodafone some 30 million. There is also healthy competition from an increasing number of resellers. This has placed pressure on voice and data tariffs, resulting in lower ARPU. Regulatory pressure on roaming charges and mobile termination rates have also eroded operator revenue, and encouraged them to step-up their development of data applications to improve profits.

Germany’s digital media market has grown strongly on the back of DSL, cable and fibre infrastructure, all of which are continuing to undergo upgrades with new technologies. The capacity for consumers to make use of videostreaming services will increase considerably during the next few years as cable operators begin to roll out services based on the DOCSIS3.1 standard across their footprints, complementing the expansion of Telekom Deutschland’s FttP network and the implementation of vectoring VDSL and G.fast technologies. Together, the deployment of these technologies is helping the country reach broadband targets set for 2020, as well as the more ambitious aim of creating a gigabit Germany by 2025.

This report introduces the key aspects of the German telecom market, providing data on the country’s fixed network infrastructure as well as key regulatory developments including the status of interconnection, local loop unbundling, number portability, and carrier preselection. It also profiles the major operators, and details the development of Next Generation Networks and issues relating to NGN access.

The report also covers the mobile voice, data and broadband markets, including an overview of regulatory developments and an evaluation of the main operators and their strategies for dealing with competition and emerging technologies in coming years. In addition the report profiles Germany’s fixed and wireless broadband markets, together with forecasts to 2021 and an analysis of developments with related technologies such as FttP, powerline broadband, wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and internet via satellite.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Germany – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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