Our Business

  • GRI 2-2

United Internet is one of Europe’s leading internet specialists, with over 27 million fee-based customer contracts and more than 40 million ad-financed free accounts.

The Group’s operating business is broken down into the Access Division, which comprises the Consumer Access and Business Access segments, and the Applications Division, which consists of the Consumer Applications and Business Applications segments. The following sections offer a brief description of the business activities performed in the different segments. A more detailed description is to be found in the “General Information about the Company and Group” chapter of United Internet’s 2022 Management Report.

Divisions, segments, and brands (as of December 31, 2022)

Grafik 237

Consumer Access Segment

The Consumer Access Segment pools our mobile internet and fixed-network broadband products (including associated applications such as home networking, online storage, telephony, and IPTV) for consumers. Customers are offered these internet access products on the basis of fixed monthly subscriptions (plus variable, usage-driven top-up fees) for contractually agreed terms.

United Internet’s 1&1 brand is one of Germany’s leading providers of broadband products (and particularly VDSL/vectoring and fiber-optic connections). The Company uses 1&1 Versatel’s fiber-optic network as the transportation network for VDSL/vectoring and direct fiber-optic connections (“FTTH” = “fiber to the home”), accessing the last mile via city carriers and Deutsche Telekom (primarily Layer 2). Additional wholesale service providers are used for its legacy business with ADSL connections.

United Internet is also a leading German provider with its mobile internet products. As the sole MBA MVNO (mobile bitstream access mobile virtual network operator) in Germany, United Internet has long-term, guaranteed rights to up to 30% of Telefónica Deutschland’s used network capacity, and hence extensive access to one of Germany’s largest mobile networks. It holds these rights indirectly via 1&1 AG. Apart from its privileged access to Telefónica’s network, the Company also purchases wholesale mobile network services from Vodafone.

As part of its plans to build a high-performance 5G mobile network, 1&1 successfully acquired two 2 x 5 MHz frequency blocks in the 2 GHz band spectrum and five 10 MHz frequency blocks in the 3.6 GHz band spectrum during the 5G frequency auction in 2019. This was followed in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 by its signature of long-term contracts, creating the core preconditions for rolling out the 1&1 mobile network and hence enhancing its value added in this market segment in the same way as in the fixed network sector. The 1&1 mobile network commenced operations on December 28 , 2022, with “1&1 5G zu Hause” – a product that is positioned as an alternative to conventional DSL, cable internet, and fiber-optic home connections. Smartphone rate plans are scheduled to follow in the summer of 2023.

United Internet markets its mobile internet products via the premium 1&1 brand and discount brands such as yourfone and smartmobile.de, allowing it to offer the mobile communications market a comprehensive range of products and to address specific target groups.

Business Access Segment

United Internet’s Business Access Segment offers a broad range of telecommunications products and solutions for business customers under its 1&1 Versatel brand.

1&1 Versatel’s business model revolves around its operation of a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network that is more than 55,000 km long. This is one of the largest networks in Germany and is being continuously expanded.

The network is used to offer companies and government agencies a range of telecommunications products – from direct fiber-optic connections down to customized, individual telecommunications solutions (voice, data, and network solutions). In addition, the 1&1 fiber-optic network is used for (wholesale) infrastructure services for national and international carriers and ISPs.

Consumer Applications Segment

The Consumer Applications Segment offers applications for private individuals. These primarily include personal information management applications (e-mails, to-do lists, appointment/address management solutions) and online (cloud) storage, plus domains, consumer website solutions, and office applications.

The portfolio has been successively expanded, and the GMX and WEB.DE brands – the largest e-mail providers in Germany for years – have been transformed in recent years from pure-play e-mail suppliers to end-to-end hubs for user communications, information, and identity management.

The consumer applications are largely developed in-house and operated in the Group’s own data centers.

The products are offered as pay accounts or ad-financed free accounts. The latter are monetized using classic and increasingly also programmatic (i.e., data-driven) online advertising. United Internet Media is responsible for marketing.

United Internet’s ad-financed and fee-based consumer applications use the GMX and WEB.DE brands and are mainly focused on Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, where the Company is one of the leading providers.

This segment, like others, has also been increasing its international presence since taking over the US provider mail.com in 2010. mail.com is present not only in the USA but also in countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and Spain.

Business Applications Segment

United Internet’s Business Applications Segment provides freelancers, self-employed professionals, and SMEs with internet-based business opportunities and helps them digitalize their processes. It does this by offering customers a broad, subscription-based range of products such as domains, websites, web hosting, servers, e-shops, group work, online (cloud) storage, and office applications. Cloud solutions and cloud infrastructure are also offered.

The applications are developed in the Company’s own development centers or in cooperation with partner organizations, and run on more than 100,000 servers in 11 data centers and 21 co-locations.

United Internet’s Business Applications Segment is also an international leader in its field, with activities in Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Sweden) and North America (the USA, Canada, and Mexico).

The business applications are marketed to specific target groups using differently positioned brands such as IONOS, Arsys, Fasthosts, home.pl, InterNetX, Strato, united-domains, and World4You. In addition, United Internet offers customers professional active domain management services in the aftermarket business under its Sedo brand. And we22 offers other hosting providers a white-label website builder for creating high-quality websites.