Berlin The mobile operator 1&1, which belongs to United Internet, wants to offer national roaming to its approximately eleven million customers from summer 2023. “In this way, we can already ensure nationwide supply during the network construction,” United Internet CEO Ralph Dommermuth told Reuters in an interview published on Thursday. “Where we do not yet have our own network, our customers automatically use the Telefonica Deutschland network,” stressed Dommermuth, who is also the head of 1&1.
By the end of the year, Dommermuth must already have 1000 base stations in order to launch the fourth mobile network alongside Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland. “Of course, we are also building new locations, but we will also rent some as far as possible, for example from Vantage Towers,” said the United Internet boss.
With regard to the competitors and the criticism of the Chinese network supplier Huawei, Dommermuth added: “Our network will be the only network in Germany without special Chinese hardware. We are a little proud of that.“ Instead, the MDax Group is relying on Rakuten from Japan to provide the software. Huawei is said to be close to China’s Communist Party.
In addition, United Internet wants to spend significantly more money on network expansion in the coming years. “The peak of investments has not yet been reached in 2022. We will continue to invest significantly in our network in the coming years,“ Dommermuth told the financial news agency dpa-AFX.
In the current year, the manager wants to spend a total of up to one billion euros. That would be more than three times as much as in 2021. Around 400 million euros are to flow into the network of subsidiary 1&1.
No news on IPO of cloud subsidiary Ionos
Dommermuth only took over the group he founded in 1988 at the end of the year. “The company is worth more than its share price. I saw this as an opportunity“” he explained his decision. On Wednesday, United Internet was worth around 5.7 billion euros on the stock exchange and 1&1 just under 3.9 billion euros.
For 2021, United Internet shareholders are to receive a dividend of 50 cents per share again, at 1&1 it will be five cents again. The proposals still have to be approved at the Annual General Meeting on May 18.
Group revenues for the past year grew by five percent to around EUR 5.65 billion, while 1&1 sales increased by 3.2 percent to EUR 3.9 billion. Adjusted for one-off effects, United Internet’s consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) rose by three percent to EUR 1.26 billion. On a comparable basis, the subsidiary’s figure of 672 million euros was about five percent more than a year earlier.
For the current year, the Gmx.de – and provider also slightly increased its sales forecast. It is now expected to generate revenues of around 5.85 billion euros, the company from Montabaur announced. So far, 5.8 billion euros had been promised after almost 5.65 billion euros last year.
United Internet as well as 1&1 want to keep their operating result (Ebitda) stable in 2022 – at just under 1.26 billion euros or 672 million euros. “Our business is going well. In addition to the sales, we were also able to increase the result nicely, although we have invested a lot,“said Dommermuth.
At first, Dommermuth does not expect any news when it comes to going to the floor of the cloud subsidiary Ionos, which is planned for this or next year. “At the moment there are no IPOs. But we are not in a hurry, Ionos is growing and is very profitable,“ he said. One is able to “get to the starting line at short notice in a receptive capital market”. The financial investor Warburg Pincus currently holds about a quarter of Ionos.