BlogViewsExploring Germany’s MVNO Landscape

Exploring Germany’s MVNO Landscape

MVNO - Signal Strenght Checker and German Mobile Network Operators - Infographic
MVNO – Signal Strenght Checker and German Mobile Network Operators – Infographic

In this blog post we shine a spotlight on Germany’s Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and their underlying mobile connectivity providers. The German MVNO’s tak up about 18% of the German mobile services market (as percentage of users). Freenet and 1&1 are the largest MVNO’s. As a part of our in-depth examination, we’ll unearth the key types of MVNOs and the market dynamics in Germany. Below we outline the four main types of MVNOs in Germany.


Germany has a great many alternative fixed line operators and ISP’s offering a plethora of fixed line services such as broadband, multimedia and cloud services. They will also have a mobile service arm which uses the MVNO model to deliver its services. The most important examples are 1&1 and Freenet. Both these players use multiple underlying network providers for the mobile connectivity: Freenet uses all three German MNO’s: Telefonica, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, while 1&1 relies on the network infrastructure of Telefonica and Vodafone. 1&1 is expanding on this hybrid model and moving towards a more MNO-like model, having acquired its own spectrum and deploying its own 5G network infrastructure.

MNO Discount Brands

Over the past few years there has been a clear trend for MNO’s to launch their own discount sub brands as semi-independent MVNO’s. O2 (now VMO2) in the UK was the leader in this trend with their Giff-gaff MVNO. In Germany each main mobile operator has their own discount sub-brand with Telefonica operating multiple discount brands. Congstar is the discount brand of Deutsche Telekom , Blau Mobilfunk and Fonic are part of the Telefonica Group and Otelo is Vodafone’s discount MVNO.

Retail MVNOs

Germany is the land of discount retailers such as Lidl and Aldi and it should come as no surprise that these two retailers have launched successful MVNO’s which offer a basis, low-cost service. Tchibo is another retailer operating a successful MVNO.

International MVNOs

These MVNO’s target immigrant and international communities with cheap international calls, advantageous roaming tariffs and targeted content. In this category we count Lebara, Lyacamobile and Ay Yildiz.

In terms of underlying network providers, Telefonica Germany is the backbone for a majority of these MVNOs. As per statistics sourced from,, a Germany’s MVNO market share is 18%, with Freenet and 1&1 securing significant shares.


The dynamic and diverse MVNO landscape in Germany reflects the innovation and competitiveness in its mobile network connectivity space. Each MVNO category, with its unique offerings, caters to distinct consumer needs, thereby enriching the overall telecommunication sector. The role of underlying MNOs is equally pivotal, providing the essential infrastructure that MVNOs leverage with Telefonica leading the charge. For consumers seeking detailed insights into signal strength check or coverage, all our mobile network coverage mapping products can be of immense help, offering an enhanced understanding of the German mobile connectivity space.

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