Country brief: Germany (DE)
EU member? Yes
OECD member? Yes
Regulatory authority:BUNDESNETZAGENTUR (link)
Number of operators:3
Of which mobile-centric:0
Population:82,162,000
Mobile data penetration: 66.8%
Spectrum assigned: 648.8 MHz
700 MHz band assigned?
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Data volume 2015: 591,000 TB
Data volume per pop 2015: 0.60 GB/month/capita (top: Finland, 9.53)
Spectrum usage 2015: 11.1 MB/year/MHz/pop (top: Finland, 213.1)
Group
Operator
Mobile-centric?
Zero-rating video?
Zero-rating any app?
SIMs
GB for €30
(smartphones)
GB for €25
MBB
(data-only)
Total low and high frequency spectrum MHz
Data volume 2015 TB
Data volume 2Q2016 TB
MB/year/MHz per pop 2015
MB/year/MHz per pop 2Q 2016
DeutscheTelekomT-Mobile-DE
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This information is available in the DFMonitor-PRO Spreadsheet.
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This information is available in the DFMonitor-PRO Spreadsheet.
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41,138,0001.00
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194.80
VodafoneVodafone-DE
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30,270,0001.00
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204.70205,92566,84412.2415.90
TelefonicaO2-DE
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This information is available in the DFMonitor-PRO Spreadsheet.
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43,417,8006.00
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249.30178,82659,8378.7311.69
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Source: DFMonitor-PRO Spreadsheet, 2H2016. The spreadsheet includes 1,775 4G LTE smartphone (with at least 1,000 minutes and SMSs) and data-only tariffs. Tariffs may have tethering or mobility restrictions. The DFMonitor-PRO Spreadsheet allows the analysis of any gigabyte or price baskets. It includes median fully allocated and weighted average incremental gigabyte prices per country and per operator as well all zero-rated or differential priced applications per country and per operator. The spreadsheet includes historic annually reported mobile data volume per country dating back to 2007 (where available) and quarterly reported mobile data volume per operator dating back to 1Q2013 (where available). The spreadsheet includes the total amount of assigned spectrum per country and per 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz band and historic spectrum usage figures starting from 2H2016. It includes the spectrum holdings per operator and per 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz band and historic usage figures starting from 2H2016.
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Insights, reports and external articles citing DFMonitor about Germany
Four year comparative study of unit prices in 4-MNO and in the 4 to 3 consolidated German & Austrian markets
2017
pricing
merger
Germany
Austria
Italy
Denmark
United Kingdom
France
Poland
Sweden
Netherlands
Hutchison
Telefonica
Iliad
Play
Tele2
Vimpelcom

January 2017
The gap between gigabyte prices in the 4 to 3 consolidated Austrian & German markets and prices in 4-MNO markets where no consolidation has taken place had substantially increased by September 2016

Tight oligopoly mobile markets in EU28 in 2016
2016
spectrum
networkeconomics
pricing
merger
mobile-first
zero-rating
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Orange

December 2016
Fixed-line broadband interest, zero-rating video and big telco ownership impedes competition in mobile markets

The Commission proposed wholesale data roaming cap of €8.5/GB is anomalous and will distort competition in North-Eastern mobile markets where retail gigabyte prices are competitive
2016
roaming
networkeconomics
Finland
Poland
Denmark
France
United Kingdom
Italy
Germany
Spain

October 2016
UPDATED with DG Competition's response to Rewheel's concerns. How low should the wholesale data roaming cap be in 2017 to avoid the distortion of competition in North-Eastern domestic mobile markets where retail gigabyte prices are competitive?

Finnish-like unlimited mobile data model now proliferating in Europe
2016
Finland
Germany
Hungary
Elisa
Vodafone
DNA
mobile-first
spectrum
roaming
pricing
networkeconomics

[External post, Linkedin]
October 2016
Efficient use of radio spectrum resources: Elisa Finland is the world's most efficient operator in turning MHz-s into gigabytes. Elisa in Finland pumps 26 times as much gigabyte per MHz per population as Vodafone in Germany. Unlimited mobile data model spreading in Europe, increasing North-South tentions in the EU mobile data roam like at home debate.

Mobile data usage (gigabyte volume) in Finland is set to overtake fixed-line broadband usage in Germany in 2016
2016
Finland
Germany
mobile-first
Elisa
Dna
TeliaCompany
networkeconomics

May 2016
In 2016 mobile data volume consumption per person in Finland is set to exceed fixed-line broadband volume consumption per person in Germany. Anecdotal evidence reported by WDR (German public media) indicated that younger users are frustrated by very restrictive smartphone plan volume caps.

The approval of the 4 to 3 Telefonica E-Plus merger with Mickey Mouse MVNO remedies made Germany the least competitive market in EU28
2016
Germany
KPN
Telefonica

February 2016
Denmark vs Germany. Decoupling of mobile internet access prices and gigabyte consumption.

Tight oligopoly mobile markets in EU28 in 2015
2016
spectrum
pricing
merger
mobile-first
zero-rating
Germany
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
Orange

January 2016
Comprehensive analysis of factors that give rise to unilateral anti-competitive effects leading to non-competitive outcomes and consumer harm in tight mobile oligopolies.


German wireless spectrum auction raises 5 bln euros
2015
Germany
spectrum
700MHz

[External article, Reuters]
June 2015
"Five billion is a small fraction of the valuation of this spectrum mix based on the U.S. auction outcome, normalised for German population," said Antonios Drossos co-founder of Finnish telecoms advisory firm Rewheel.

UK and French 4-network-operator competitive mobile markets versus the consolidated German protected oligopoly – 2Q 2015
2015
United Kingdom
France
Germany
Iliad
Hutchison
DeutscheTelekom
Vodafone
Telefonica
EverythingEveywhere
SFR
BouyguesTelecom
Orange

June 2015
Triggered by the planned mergers in the UK, Commissioner Vestager’s assertion that “In fact, infrastructure investment can be stimulated by competition” and by the court challenge filed by Airdata AG against the Commission’s unlawful approval of Telefonica E-Plus German merger we take a closer look at effective competition and in particular 4G LTE mobile internet access (smartphone plan) prices and hotspot/tethering restrictions in the consolidated German protected oligopoly, UK and France.

EU’s Margrethe Vestager hits out against telecoms consolidation
2015
Austria
Hutchison
Germany
Ireland
Telefonica
United Kingdom
Italy
TeliaSonera
Telenor
Denmark
merger

[External article, The Financial Times, subscription required]
June 2015
Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, has thrown down a marker of her intent to curtail consolidation in Europe’s telecoms industry by dismissing suggestions that a wave of big mergers is needed to boost investment. Research from Rewheel, a consultancy, suggests that prices rise sharply following merger approvals, citing the tie-up between Hutchison and Orange in Austria. However, telecoms executives retort that price rises tend to be matched by an increase in data capacity or improved services.

Appeal stokes telecoms merger controversy
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, POLITICO Europe]
June 2015
A small German mobile company has fired a legal salvo that could ricochet across the European telecoms industry with unknown consequences. “More competitors means lower prices for consumers and more investment into infrastructure,” said Antonios Drossos, managing partner at Rewheel, a telecoms consultancy. “Competition gives operators an incentive to differentiate themselves by investing.”

Telefónica’s KPN deal challenged over impact on competition
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, The Financial Times, subscription required]
June 2015
The €8.6bn acquisition by Telefónica of KPN’s German business is set to be contested in front of the EU general court after a rival argued that the deal had impaired competition in the country. The group also pointed to data from Finnish consulting company Rewheel that consolidation significantly increased mobile prices ... Rewheel said: “The European Commission approved the harmful four to three Telefónica E-Plus German merger by accepting ineffective commitments that could not remove the competition concerns entirely.”

Affordably priced 100 or unlimited gigabyte 4G LTE smartphone plans with tethering – Trouble is brewing for cable and fixed-line operators
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

June 2015
4G LTE smartphone plans with 100 or unlimited gigabyte volume are promoted by European mobile operators as the ultimate packages for connecting computers and tablets and streaming movies while at home. Affordably priced 100, 200, 500 or unlimited gigabyte 4G LTE data only home broadband plans - Cheaper than cable.

Germany opens the bidding for mobile phone airwaves (700 MHz)
2015
Germany
Telefonica
Vodafone
DeutscheTelekom
spectrum
700MHz

[External article, Reuters]
May 2015
Rewheel: "In this case, there are three players with equal market share of about a third. In such a case nobody is willing to pay extra for additional spectrum ... They are comfortable with the current status quo"

Europe’s great data divide - Not all countries are created equal when it comes to mobile data usage in the European Union.
2015
Germany
Hungary
Finland
France
United Kingdom
Poland
pricing

[External article, POLITICO Europe]
May 2015
POLITICO.eu reporting on the launch and key findings of the 3rd DFMonitor release.


New European competition commissioner, new approach to telecoms consolidation?
2015
Germany
Austria
Italy
United Kingdom
Hutchison
Telefonica
KPN
Vimpelcom
WindItaly

[External article, Telecom TV]
March 2015
As competition commissioner, Vestager says that her job is to ensure that European citizens or businesses can enjoy relatively innovative markets at affordable prices.

In 4 to 3 consolidated markets average mobile internet access prices rose by up to 56%
2015
Germany
Austria
Hutchison
Telefonica
KPN
DeutscheTelekom

March 2015
In 4 to 3 consolidated markets and in a market where consolidation is on the making the average price of the 5 gigabyte mobile internet access basket rose by up to 56% while the lowest available price rose by up to 68%. In markets that went from 3 to 4 operators and in a 4-player market where consolidation was blocked the average price of the 5 gigabyte mobile internet access basket fell by up to 37% while the lowest available price fell by up to 40%.

Drillisch, the MVNO that helped clear Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus in Germany raised mobile internet gigabyte prices by 138%
2015
Germany
Telefonica
KPN

February 2015
Meanwhile Telefonica, post merger, also raised mobile internet smartphone plan prices by double digit percentage.

Germany Emerges as Net Neutrality Antagonist
2014
Germany
zero-rating

[External article, The Wall Street Journal]
December 2014
Germany, which is spearheading Europe’s fight against U.S. tech giants on everything from data privacy to Google ’s search engine monopoly, is hoping to scupper net neutrality too. Citing Digital Fuel Monitor analysis.

German telecom regulator: Zero-rating (volume discrimination) violates net neutrality
2014
Germany
zero-rating

September 2014
Zero-rated content or apps are applications or services that allow the end-user to consume unlimited Gigabyte volume of selected content without depleting their inclusive open mobile internet volume allowance (source: Wikipedia)

Reducing Wireless Competition in Europe
2014
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, The New York Times]
July 2014
A recent decision by European regulators to approve the merger of two cellphone companies in Germany will significantly reduce competition and encourage further consolidation in the industry. Citing Digital Fuel Monitor research.


Telefonica’s Mickey Mouse commitments are irrelevant and ineffective
2014
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

May 2014
Will Almunia succumb to Merkel’s pressure and clear Telefonica/E-Plus merger with toothless Austrian like remedies (leased 2600MHz spectrum, WiFi, MVNOs) or stand firm, enforce the law and prohibit the merger?

Spectrum use in Finland and the UK versus Germany
2014
Finland
United Kingdom
Germany
spectrum
networkeconomics

March 2014
According to data reported by the national regulatory authorities and presented in the first release (1H2014) of the DFMonitor the average monthly mobile data consumption per capita varies greatly across EU28. In 2012 the Finnish consumed on average 1.49 Gigabyte every month while the British 0.38 Gigabyte. The Germans on the other hand consumed a dismal 0.15 Gigabyte every month. Why do consumers in competitive markets (where a challenger operator is present) consume up to 10 times more mobile data than consumers in protected markets such as Germany? Are Germans less eager users of the internet?

Competitive mobile markets bolster take up, says study
2014
release
pricing
Iliad
United Kingdom
Finland
Austria
Germany
Ireland
United States
Vodafone
Orange
Telefonica
DeutscheTelekom
Iliad
Tele2
Hutchison

[External article, The Financial Times, subscription required]
March 2014
Rewheel is launching a tracker of prices, performance, spectrum use, consumption and adoption across Europe, which includes 1,404 smartphone and data-only tariff plans offered in 43 countries from 145 operators.

EU regulators open lengthy probe into Telefonica, KPN deal
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, Reuters]
December 2013
EU antitrust regulators opened an in-depth probe into Telefonica's proposed 8.6 billion euro ($11.9 billion) takeover of KPN's German unit, saying the deal may reduce competition in the German mobile market.

Competition in France & UK versus Germany
2013
France
United Kingdom
Germany
Iliad
BouyguesTelecom
Orange
SFR
KPN
Telefonica
Vodafone
DeutscheTelekom

December 2013
Inefficient operators that cannot make a healthy return on €20 mass market 10 GByte all-you-can-eat minute & SMS smartphone tariffs will soon become telco road kills in Europe’s competitive markets.

Mobile network operator consolidation in Germany
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger
spectrum

November 2013
Telefonica’s acquisition of E-Plus, if approved, will turn Germany into a fiercely competitive market.

Mobilfunkfusion treibt Preise in Österreich
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, Handelsblatt, in German]
September 2013
In einer Studie für europäische und nationale Kartellwächter warnt die finnische Beratungsfirma Rewheel vor einer Fusion der deutschen Mobilfunker O2 und E-Plus, sollte es keine strengen Auflagen geben. Die Spezialisten für den Mobilfunkmarkt verweisen darauf, dass in Österreich sieben Monate nach einer genehmigten Fusion der Anbieter Hutchison 3G Austria („3“) die Preise für Smartphone-Tarife im Durchschnitt um sechzig Prozent erhöht habe.

EU antitrust watchdog put to test with Vodafone, Hutchison deals
2013
Vodafone
Hutchison
Telefonica
Germany
Irelands
merger

[External article, Reuters]
June 2013
European regulators will soon weigh in on two telecom acquisitions worth about 11.5 billion euros, in key test cases for a sector that executives believe needs consolidation to counter falling sales and boost network investments.Rewheel quotes inside.

EU27 mobile data cost competitiveness report - May 2013 (Rewheel's second extensive EU-wide mobile data cap and pricing analysis)
2013
release
pricing
spectrum
Germany

May 2013
EU’s single telecom market is threatened by the lack of mobile network infrastructure based competition within the national borders of half of EU’s member states and from the noticeable absence of pan-European retail operators offering borderless European tariffs.

Phone Mergers Can’t Mean Higher Price, Less Competition, EU Says
2013
Germany
Telefonica
KPN
merger

[External article, Bloomberg]
February 2013
European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said companies’ expansion can’t come at the expense of customers or competition, in a response to a call by telecommunications operators for looser merger reviews. Users pay as much as ten times more to use their smartphones in countries where the biggest European operators have no local competitors, Almunia said, citing [Rewheel] research.

Lack of competition inflates EU smartphone costs
2013
Iliad
Tele2
Hutchison
Vodafone
DeutscheTelekom
Orange
Telefonica
Greece
United States
Spain
Germany
Finland
Denmark
United Kingdom
release

[External article, The Financial Times, subscription required]
January 2013
Mobile users pay up to 10 times more to use smartphones in EU countries that lack an independent “challenger” telecoms group outside the large, dominant pan-European operators, according to Rewheel's research.

E-Plus Germany mobile data impact analysis — showing way forward for challenger operators?
2010
Germany
KPN
spectrum
mobile-first
networkeconomics

November 2010
Up until late 2009 E-Plus had been following a low cost challenger strategy primarily targeting customers with no or very light mobile data needs. But late 2009, when it became apparent that fast mobile data is not a niche offering any longer but is becoming an essential need of the mass consumer base in Germany and in other developed telecoms markets, they swiftly declared a new, “voice+data” strategy.

2010
Germany
Finland
spectrum
networkeconomics

August 2010
There is a common opinion in the industry that 3G/HSPA mobile data networks are congested because operators are running out of their spectrum resources. Considering the traffic demand, likely traffic geo-distribution, daily profile and the constrains of HSPA and LTE technology our models show that in typical mature mobile telecommunications markets spectrum scarcity alone does not cause a capacity crunch yet.


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