Telecommunications BR sees with Roaming obligation many jobs in danger

Who does not know that: On the drive in the car suddenly the net is gone – and the phone call interrupted. So politicians demand that in some places then use a different network for free. But against the so-called local roaming there are sharp resistance.

Bonn (dpa) – Local roaming duties in Germany would endanger thousands jobs in the opinion of the works council of Deutsche Telekom .

“If such a roaming , our investments would be devalued and future expenditures in the infrastructure and thus also in the personnel would have to be lowered,” said Telekom works council boss Josef Bednarski the German press agency . In the long term, therefore, would have significantly reduced staff – at the three network operators Telekom , Telefónica and Vodafone , investing in network expansion, a total of a five-digit number of jobs would be threatened by the red pencil, he says.

Local roaming is a proposal by the Bundestag factions of the Union and the SPD to allow consumers in blind spots in rural areas to connect to other networks free of charge. Bednarski considers this to be “populism” far from economic reality.

This spring is the auction of frequencies of the new generation 5G mobile phones, the technology with its fast Internet is particularly important for the industry. The Federal Network Agency has previously waived its roaming obligations in its procurement rules – it relies on the fact that the different companies in the industry negotiate with each other. The deputy heads of the Bundestag factions are calling for a swift change of law to enforce local roaming obligations.

Shortly before Christmas , Telefónica (O2) and Vodafone filed suit against the rules of 5G frequency allocation. The Telekom had previously stressed that they are considering legal action. At first it was still unclear whether the Bonn follow the approach of the competition.

Works Council Bednarski , together with his counterparts at Telefónica and Vodafone, wrote a letter to the politicians to warn against the negative consequences. The employee representatives emphasize that the roaming project for the auction implies legal uncertainty for the network operators – finally, the companies would not know because of the possible change in the law, which conditions and what financial perspectives they would have with the 5G frequencies. Telefonica and Vodafone also emphasized with regard to their complaints that they wanted to achieve legal clarity.

If roaming were required, the construction of radio towers in the countryside would be even less attractive than before, argues Bednarski . The logic: A network operator would have to leave his competitors on the antennas, so he could no longer score against the customer as the sole provider of a good network in a region. “The motto would then be” who builds, loses “- because you would have to let the competition that does not expand, and would have no competitive advantage,” said Bednarski . Accordingly, the network operators would be reluctant – and the expansion in the countryside would be a pervert, he warns.

The employee representative also sees jobs in other industries at risk. “5G would not be expanded as quickly and comprehensively as it would necessarily be, so that the industrial location of Germany remains competitive.”

Telecom competitor United Internet rated with its brand 1 & 1, however, positive roaming obligations – the company has so far no own network, but uses the Telefónica network. Currently, United Internet is considering becoming the fourth operator in Germany with the 5G auction .