The economic environment

This section provides additional information on, and explains recent changes to, the economic situation as described in the combined management report for the 2017 financial year, focusing on macroeconomic developments in the first six months of 2018, the outlook, the currently prevailing economic risks, and the regulatory environment. The overall economic outlook is subject to the precondition that there are no major unexpected occurrences in the forecast period.

MACROECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The global economy continued on its trajectory in the first half of 2018, although the rate slowed from the first to the second quarter. In its updated May 2018 forecast, the OECD expects global gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 3.8 percent in 2018, compared with 3.7 percent in 2017. The expansion of the national economies in our core markets continues, although the growth is slower than in the comparative period.

OUTLOOK

Under the current conditions, we expect to see positive economic trends in the economies of our core markets. However, uncertainties over the future of global trade are negatively affecting current forecasts, which now show that economic growth may be slower overall than previously expected for 2018 and 2019.

OVERALL ECONOMIC RISKS

At present, global economic growth continues to withstand the negative effects of economic policy in recent months. The economic risks have increased. Sustained growth may be impeded by political tensions in Europe and the spread of protectionist measures at a global level. Furthermore, geopolitical crises could also have a negative impact on the economies of the countries in which we operate.

REGULATION

Federal Network Agency decision on StreamOn. On December 15, 2017, the Federal Network Agency prohibited elements of the MagentaMobil StreamOn add-on option. According to the Federal Network Agency, two aspects of this option breached the EU Regulation on net neutrality and roaming. The ruling stipulates that we must transmit all StreamOn data traffic at the maximum available bandwidth and that this also cannot be deducted from the included data volume contingent when roaming within the EU. However, we believe that our service complies with EU law. We have filed an appeal with the Cologne Administrative Court against the Federal Network Agency’s ruling and also sought a preliminary injunction. We will continue to offer StreamOn in unchanged form during the summary proceedings.

Federal Network Agency decision on bitstream charges. On March 8, 2018, we received the Federal Network Agency’s final decision on our rate application dated September 21, 2017. The application relates to the rates we can charge to wholesale customers for access to our broadband lines for “layer 2 bitstream access.” In its final decision, the Federal Network Agency confirmed its preliminary decision from December of last year and approved the majority of rates at the current levels. We had requested an increase in the monthly rate as part of contingent models. As per the preliminary decision, this application was not approved in the final decision.

AWARDING OF SPECTRUM

The table below provides an overview of the main spectrum awards such as auctions as well as license extensions in Germany and at our international subsidiaries. It also indicates spectrum to be awarded in the near future in various countries.

Main spectrum awards
  Start of award
procedure
End of award
procedure
Frequency ranges (MHz) Award process Spectrum acquired (MHz)
Albania Q3 2018 Q4 2018 800 Sealed bid a or auction tbd
Germany Q2 2019 Q2 2019 2,000 / 3,400 – 3,800 Auction (SMRA b), expected tbd
Greece Q3 2019 Q4 2019 3,400 – 3,800 tbd tbd
Croatia Q3 2018 Q4 2018 2,100 tbd tbd
Macedonia Q2 2018 Q4 2018 900 / 2,100 Extension of licenses, expected tbd
Netherlands Q3 2019 Q4 2019 700 / 1,500 / 2,100 Auction, details tbd tbd
Austria Q3 2018 Q4 2018 3,400 – 3,800 Auction (CCA c), expected tbd
Austria Q3 2019 Q4 2019 700 / 1,500 / 2,100 Auction, details tbd tbd
Poland Q2 2019 Q4 2019 3,700 – 3,800 tbd tbd
Romania Q1 2019 Q2 2019 700 / 800 / 1,500 / 2,600 / 3,400 – 3,600 Auction, details tbd tbd
Slovakia Q2 2018 Q3 2018 1,800 Auction (SMRA b), expected tbd
Czech Republic Q3 2019 Q4 2019 700 / 3,400 – 3,600 Auction, details tbd tbd
Hungary Q4 2018 Q1 2019 700 / 1,500 / 2,100 / 2,300 / 2,600 / 26,000 tbd tbd
United States Q4 2018 Q2 2019 24,000 / 28,000 tbd tbd
 a Submission of an individual bid in a sealed envelope, in some cases sequential, in several awards.
 b Simultaneous electronic multi-round auction with ascending, parallel bids for all ranges.
 c Combinatorial Clock Auction, three-stage, multi-round auction for spectrum from all frequency ranges.