Deutsche Telekom has signed a deal with German utility and telecoms company EWE that will see the two broadband providers sharing their VDSL networks in northwest Germany.

The agreement covers nearly 400 local networks in Lower Saxony, Bremen and parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, providing increased choice for up to 3.5 million households and companies.

Deutsche Telekom plans to launch services using EWE’s networks in the Oldenburg region in August, with other areas set to follow in September.

The operator has similar deals in place with Netcologne and TelNet.

Niek Jan van Damme, MD of Deutsche Telekom’s German operations said in January that the incumbent had to learn to cooperate with rivals to boost its broadband footprint.

In its 2016 annual report, Deutsche Telekom said 60 percent of premises in Germany could access its fibre-based network with speeds of at least 50MBps.

The operator saw its broadband customer base hit 13 million at the end of March this year, with subscribers signed up to fibre-based services, including VDSL, growing 10.4 percent to reach 4.7 million.

van Damme said: "Sharing infrastructure makes the upgrades more cost-effective for the companies. And the customers benefit from greater choice of provider.”

Michael Heidkamp, Director of Sales and Marketing at EWE, added: "The long-term collaboration with Deutsche Telekom is a win for the people in our region.

"Together, we will be able to give more people faster Internet connections.”

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