Home5G & Beyond1&1 Mobilfunk's deal with Vantage Towers could give it 5,000 antennas for...

    1&1 Mobilfunk’s deal with Vantage Towers could give it 5,000 antennas for 5G


    Part of the German mobile operator’s strictly-software strategy

    Germany’s new mobile network operator 1&1 Mobilfunk has commissioned Vodafone spinoff Vantage Towers to install 5G antennas. 

    According to a Vantage Towers release, Germany’s fourth biggest mobile operator, a subsidiary of data centre giant 1&1 AG, will get access to at least 3,800 and potentially up to 5,000 existing sites throughout Germany for the next 20 years. These will be primarily co-locations on a mix of rooftop towers and ground-based infrastructure.

    Sticking to core competence 

    As part of the official agreement Vantage Towers will be take responsibility for all the commercial property market procedures. Vantage Towers will apply its specialised knowledge to expedite procedures such as gaining planning approval, preparatory work and project managing the construction of new antenna sites. 

    The first sites will be made available 2021 with the aim of providing to at least 3,800 sites by the end of calendar year 2025. The contract has a first term until the end of 2040, with the option for 1&1 to extend until 2060.

    Good Vantage point for operators

    Düsseldorf-based Vantage Towers was spun-off in 2020 with founder Vodafone Group retaining a controlling interest. Since then it has grown its estate from 68,000 sites to 82,000 in ten countries. Its portfolio includes towers, masts, rooftop sites, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells. Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read said recently that he was looking for a merger partner for the tower company.

    It was listed on Deutsche Börse’s Prime Standard Index in Frankfurt in March 2021 and in  September it was admitted to the MDAX and TecDAX. 

    “With Vantage Towers, we have gained a strong partner for the passive infrastructure of our 5G mobile network,” Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of 1&1. “By cooperating with established tower companies, we want to primarily use existing antenna sites.”

    “The partnership with 1&1 is another important milestone for us,” said Vivek Badrinath, CEO of Vantage Towers. “By co-locating on our sites, 1&1 can proceed with a timely launch of its 5G network cost effectively and with high quality.”

    Speedy fibre backhaul

    Meanwhile, 1&1 Mobilfunk has also signed an inter-company agreement with business-to-business cable provider 1&1 Versatel, a fellow affiliate within 1&1 AG, to lease fibre-optic lines and data centre infrastructure with an initial term until the end of 2050. 1&1Mobilfunk’s new antennas from its Vantage Towers partnership will be connected to its sister company’s fibre backbone and data centres.

    The company plans four central data centres for its core network and over 500 decentralised data centres, enabling short transmission paths for the use of real-time applications. 1&1 Versatel owns fibre-optic transport networks across Germany and will be responsible for the access network. It said its main focus will be to provide fibre-optic lines and set up and operate 1&1 data centres.