Seven years after the end of E-Plus, Germany has a fourth cell phone network again. The telecommunications company 1

So far there are cell phone networks in Germany from Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica Deutschland with its O2 brand. There are also so-called virtual network operators who use the capacity of established providers for their mobile communications business and pay rent for it. United Internet subsidiary 1 is such a virtual network operator

Slow network expansion

The network expansion from 1

For a long time, Germany had four cell phone networks, but in 2014 O2 took over its competitor E-Plus. The networks were merged gradually until 2016. After that there were only three cell phone networks, now there are four again.

Who already now 1

Started as a landline replacement product a year ago

In order to comply with a government regulation, 1

Federal Minister Wissing came to the celebration on Friday in Montabaur. He was full of praise for the company from the state in southwest Germany. “The more network operators we have, the more we invest in our digital infrastructure, the better it is for the digital society,” said the liberal, pointing to the federal government’s goal of Germany having full coverage with the 5G wireless standard by 2030. More competition and therefore more innovation are good for this, said Wissing.

Innovation driver with Open Ran


“Our network is based on an open infrastructure, which means we are not dependent on a supplier such as Huawei,” says Domnmermuth, referring to the controversial network supplier from China, whose components the competition has still installed.

Positive consequences for consumers expected

Consumer advocates rate the market entry at 1

Jens-Uwe Theumer from the comparison portal Verivox says that the fourth network operator will bring a breath of fresh air and more competition into the market. For a long time there were four cell phone networks in Germany, but in 2014 O2 and E-Plus merged. Now the number of cell phone networks has increased again to four. “For almost ten years there were three providers of roughly the same size who had no interest in major disruptions,” says Theumer. “1


The important question for the company is whether the next mobile phone auction will take place in 2024. So far, the company has only used frequency blocks in two radio bands, but additional blocks in other bands are necessary for an optimal, comprehensive network. Therefore wants 1