Deutsche Telekom says customers, operators pay price for 5G auction

Timotheus Hoettges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG, stands in front of a regular GSM antenna equipped with 5G technology of multi-national network infrastructure provider Commscope during the company's annual shareholder meeting in Bonn, Germany March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BERLIN (Reuters) - The CEO of Deutsche Telekom criticized the amount companies will have to pay to get fifth generation mobile internet spectrum in Germany as the amount of total bids approached 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) on Wednesday.

“This money is taken away from the customers, citizens and operators,” Timotheus Hoettges said at a conference in Berlin.

“You can only spend the euro once,” he said, adding that 4.6 billion euros equal 23,000 mobile sites that the industry cannot build.

Reporting by Nadine Schimroszik; writing by Thomas Seythal; editing by Tassilo Hummel