Germany has the largest mobile subscriber base in Europe, with about 111 million subscribers in mid-2011. The high penetration rate – at some 140% – is chiefly attributable to the growing use of SIM cards for mobile Internet access. Vodafone and T-Mobile dominate the German mobile market, together accounting for about 63% of subscribers, about 4% lower than in 2009 since the main network competitors O2 and E-Plus have increased their market share. Customer churn in the German mobile market remains high, driven by number portability, regular tariff changes and competitive deals introduced by operators.
In line with the government’s National Broadband Strategy, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have consolidated their awards for licences in a number of spectrum bands by further advancing their deployments of Long-term Evolution (LTE) networks. MNOs are committed to playing a significant part in Germany’s broadband strategy, given the licence conditions set for their 800MHz licences to provide rural areas with priority coverage.