United Internet has not yet decided on German 5G auction: spokesman

BERLIN (Reuters) - United Internet has not yet decided whether or not to take part in Germany’s upcoming auction of 5G spectrum, a company spokesman said on Thursday, denying an earlier media report.

The supervisory board has not yet made a decision, the spokesman said after business weekly Wirtschaftswoche, citing unspecified future business partners, reported that the Montabaur-based internet and telecommunications firm had already concluded 5G partnerships in preparation for the move.

Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland have all said they will participate in the auction for the next generation mobile standard.

Companies need to apply by Jan. 25 to take part in the auction.

United Internet’s subsidiary 1&1 Drillisch runs a so-called virtual mobile network that, in the absence of its own infrastructure, relies on renting access to the networks of existing operators.

The company said in December it was weighing bidding for a 5G license and was in talks with two potential infrastructure vendors on its strategy. According to media reports that the company has declined to confirm, one is China’s ZTE.

Reporting by Nadine Schimrotzik, writing by Tassilo Hummel; editing by Thomas Seythal and Jan Harvey