German telco Deutsche Telekom announced that its 5G network is already operational in the cities of Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Darmstadt, and Munich.
5G services in these five cities is being currently offered via 129 5G antennas. Deutsche Telekom also said that it is gradually expanding its 5G network clusters in these five major cities.
The German carrier expects to provide 5G coverage in the cities of Hamburg and Leipzig before the end of this year. A total of 300 5G base stations are expected to be deployed before the end of 2019, the telco said.
By the end of 2020, at least 20 of the largest cities in Germany are to be connected to the 5G network, according to Deutsche Telekom.
“We’re starting off where data usage is high and are establishing continuous coverage areas in these places. After all, it’s not just about having 5G show up on screen – it’s about experiencing the real strengths of 5G from the very start,” said Walter Goldenits, CTO at Telekom Deutschland.
“We want to build up as much experience as possible in terms of transmission planning during the initial expansion stage in 2019. We’re learning more with every single antenna we set up and adjust,” the executive said.
The telco said that its 66 base stations in Berlin are currently serving the districts of Schöneberg, Mitte, and Kreuzberg. Over the next 18 months, Berlin’s 5G network is set to grow continuously, spreading in the west of the city from Charlottenburg and Ku’damm to the Messe Berlin exhibition center. In the east and north, Deutsche Telekom is extending the area to cover Alexanderplatz and the government district toward Prenzlauer Berg and the Charité university hospital, the company said.
The carrier also highlighted that there are 12 new antennas providing 5G coverage in Cologne. Planned expansion in Cologne is to take place in the entire city center with its shopping streets and residential areas, as well as the MediaPark, the Deutz side of the Rhine around the exhibition center, and the promenades on both sides of the Rhine. By the end of 2019, Deutsche Telekom will set up a total of 90 5G base stations in Cologne.
In Munich, 5G is being provided via nine 5G antennas. By the end of the year, Deutsche Telekom expects to deploy a total of 50 5G base stations across the city.
In Bonn, the telco has deployed a total of 24 5G base station, with the goal of deploying a total of 40 by the end of the year. In Darmstadt, 5G coverage is being provided by a 5G network which currently comprises 18 base stations.
“To begin with, we are using 4G locations for 5G, as the new technology is being synchronized and brought to the network via LTE. You could say that 5G is piggybacking on LTE,” Goldenits said. “When it comes to achieving rapid expansion, we appreciate the support of city and municipal authorities, particularly in terms of securing approvals quickly.”
Apart from the rollout of new 5G base stations, the German telco announced plans to expand LTE infrastructure across Germany. There are plans to set up approximately 4,000 new LTE mobile base stations in 2019 and 2020, half of which will be located in rural areas. Deutsche Telekom also said that it aims to extend LTE coverage to 98% of the population by the end of the year.
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