Do cellphone providers also have to offer 12 month contracts?

Cellphone contracts usually have a 24-month term. Within this term, the consumer can only terminate the contract in exceptional circumstances. Since the cellphone companies only usually promote the 24-month contract, 12-month contracts are largely unheard of.

Consumers only get information on 12-month contracts after specific enquiries. Providers of publicly-accessible telecommunication services, in accordance with Section 43b Telecommunications Law, are legally obliged to make it possible for a participant to conclude a contract with a maximum term of 12 months. Telephone providers must therefore offer at least one rate to their customers with a maximum term of 12 months.

You can revoke a contract which you agreed on the internet, in your apartment, by fax or even on the telephone within two weeks. However, you cannot revoke a cellphone contract which you agreed in a shop. If you do not like a cellphone contract with a contract term, you always have to option to opt for a prepaid rate. The following also applies here: Compare the deals of the businesses!

Longer minimum terms than 24 months are legally unreliable. If you missed the notice period, the cellphone contract is automatically extended by 12-months! Automatic contract extensions may only be 12 months. If the contract is automatically extended by longer than 12 months, the contract extension has no effect.


  • If you want to take out a cellphone contract, find out which contract rate is offered for 12 months by the respective companies and on what terms.
  • Compare several businesses before concluding a contract of 12 or 24 months’ length.
  • Pay attention to the contract details when concluding a contract. Insist that you get the contract, the exact description of your rate with prices, as well as the general terms and conditions handed to you in written form. Keep your contract documents safe in case of any legal disputes with your telecommunications companies.
  • Pay attention to the termination periods! A notice period of three months usually applies to 12 and 24-month contracts. However, the notice period can vary from provider to provider. Check your contract!
  • Terminate your contract in writing and send the notice by registered post with acknowledgment of receipt so that you can prove the receipt of notice in case of dispute. Do not forget to sign!
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