German 5G Operations to Launch in 2020

Deutsche Telekom headquarters in Bonn, Germany. Photo: Deutsche Telekom.

Deutsche Telekom, the majority shareholder of T-Mobile U.S. , will launch commercial 5G operations in Germany in 2020. Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Tim Höttges said operations will launch as long as enough commercial devices are available. He renewed a pledge to invest $6.32 billion (5.5 billion euros) a year in building Telekom’s broadband network in Germany, according to a statement issued before a meeting on network strategy to be hosted by Germany’s main industry lobby.

Höttges plans to cooperate in building out Germany’s fiber-optic network, critical both for providing gigabit-speed internet connections and ensuring that 5G services such as networked factories and smart cities can operate. He also invited industry to join in the development of a standardized European 5G platform.

The company plans to host a user conference to assess the demands on its 5G network.

Deutsche Telekom has submitted an eight-point plan for a fast, successful launch of 5G which includes a proposal to offer 5G coverage to 99 percent of the population by 2025. The company is also taking a major step in area coverage, targeting 90 percent 5G coverage by 2025.

The Operator said it will invest 20 billion euros in Germany by 2021. To ensure that business, industry, and the general public get the best possible 5G network, Deutsche Telekom will also team up with partners. It has recently concluded an agreement with competitor Telefonica, which enables Telefonica to use Deutsche Telekom’s fiber-optic network to connect its own mobile base stations.

The Operator said it has connected 22,000 mobile base stations with fiber. To provide even more coverage for Germany and its residents, Deutsche Telekom is also speeding up the installation of new antenna sites. The company currently operates 27,000 of them and will be adding at least 2,000 each year. Their number will reach 36,000 by 2021. The sites already use an advanced technology called Single RAN which enables frequencies to be split flexibly and dynamically on demand. S RAN technology is already capable of supporting the first 5G applications.

Tim Hottges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom says:
Everyone wants to be in the high-speed network – across all levels of society. That’s what drives us. Deutsche Telekom is ready for 5G. We’re working hard on the network roll-out in both the fixed and mobile networks. And we will live up to our responsibility for Germany’s digital future. We’re building the network for everyone.

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