Internet, Telephone, TV and Licence Fee
DSL connection: To have Internet or WiFi in the flat (the so-called DSL connection) is indispensable for all of us. In the student residences the internet connection is often included. If you are going to rent an apartment, however, you will have to look after the Internet on your own. There are various providers in Germany for this purpose. You can start an internet comparison via Check24 to see which connection is the cheapest one available for you. The best known and most used providers include Vodafone, Telekom, 1&1 and O2.
Mobile phone contract: On the German market there are an infinite number of mobile phone providers. Almost all of them offer a telephone and SMS flat rate in addition to the Internet. You can choose whether you want a mobile phone contract or just the prepaid SIM card. The mobile phone contract includes a monthly fixed price for a certain period (usually 24 months). In addition to the SIM card, you can often also choose a mobile phone. On Check24 you can compare various mobile phone contracts with or without smartphone according to your wishes. A prepaid SIM card must be topped up with money before use. Here you can find comparison of prepaid rates.
When you are looking for a suitable DSL connection, you will notice that the offers always include a landline connection as well. After setting up the router (note: not always included in the contract - look for the addition "Router Inclusive") you can get a house telephone, connect it and you are ready to go. Now you can be reached via the telephone number that the provider gives you. However, most people do not buy the in-house telephone, as the mobile phone is often sufficient.
There are many possibilities for TV reception in Germany. The reception methods include satellite, cable connection, IPTV, antenna TV (DVB-T2) or TV streaming via the Internet.
Satellite: The most commonly used reception method in Germany is the satellite dish. If you are lucky, your apartment already has such a dish. It is usually located on the roof or the balcony. However, most rented flats do not have one, so this reception method is probably irrelevant for you. If you do have a satellite dish, however, the TV works via a cable that comes out of the wall. Simply plug this cable into the SAT receiver, start the channel search on the TV and you are ready to go. In standard quality, all channels can be received without additional costs. For HD or UHD you have to paid. In the case that your accommodation has such a dish, you will certainly get further information from your landlord.
Cable connection: Cable connection is offered in Bremen via Vodafone GigaTV Cable. If you want cable connection, it is best to combine it with your DSL contract from Vodafone, so that you can save money. Please note that the cable connection comes with a contract and that you are bound to it for a certain amount of time. Further general information on cable TV in Bremen can be found here.
IPTV: Similar to TV streaming (Internet television), the TV signal for IPTV is transmitted exclusively via the Internet. However, there are two main differences: For one, IPTV is always linked to an internet connection of the same provider. For example, MagentaTV is only available in connection with an Internet and telephone connection at Deutsche Telekom. Similar to cable TV providers, a contract usually runs for 24 months. Secondly, very special receivers are required for reception. These are only available to purchase from the provider you use. The costs for receivers are either included in the monthly subscription costs or are shown separately as a special hardware rental. Under the Internet+TV combi-package comparison on Check24 you can compare both the cable connection and the IPTV.
Antenna TV (DVB-T2): Antenna TV now works with freenet TV and an indoor antenna. You may need a DVB-T2 capable receiver if your TV is not designed for a CI+ module. You can buy the module or the receiver for a fee in a specialist shop or online. There are different running times. You can find more information about freenet TV here.
In Germany, the licence fee must be paid by each household. It is not relevant how many people live in the household, as it is always 17,50€ per month. You can choose to pay the contribution quarterly, half-yearly or annually. The contribution can be paid through bank transfer or SEPA direct debit. If you decide to pay with bank transfer, you will receive a letter requesting payment on the respective due date. With the SEPA Direct Debit Scheme you do not receive this. You can find further information about the radio licence fee here.