D.Telekom, Vodafone combine to expand German VDSL

A woman talks on a mobile telephone as she passes a Vodafone store in central London November 8, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Telecom giants Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone will work together to expand high-speed VDSL internet broadband services in Germany, the companies said on Tuesday.

“We are also in talks with other competitors and open for further cooperation,” a Deutsche Telekom spokesman said.

The two companies would begin next year by expanding in two German cities -- Wuerzburg and Heilbronn -- giving about 50,000 households in each city access to the super-fast network.

So far, 50 cities in Germany have access to VDSL, a faster version of standard broadband technology with speeds of several tens of megabits per second, enough for high-definition video streaming.

Deutsche Telekom has urged its rivals to help build a VDSL network in Germany and warned the country would lose its competitive edge if it did not invest in broadband expansion.

Telekom and other fixed-line operators are keen to offer more broadband services to compensate for a declining customer base for traditional landline services as they compete against cable companies’ all-in-one packages of video, telephone and Internet services.

Deutsche Telekom aims to attract around 500,000 customers this year for its television service via broadband, Internet IPTV.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Nicola Leske; editing by John Stonestreet