The European telco is currently testing 5G technologies in a cluster in Berlin
Deutsche Telekom said it expects to offer 5G coverage to 99% of Germany’s population and 90% of its geographic territory by 2025, the operator said in a statement.
Deutsche Telekom’s plans for the 5G expansion include cities, towns, highways, main roads, and train paths. Business parks and schools are also part of it.
“More than 30% of Germany’s land is forested. When it makes sense to cover these areas with 5G applications, we’ll do so,” said Dirk Wössner, board member for DT’s Telekom Deutschland unit. In rural areas, the company plans to offer rental space on all its transmission towers to interested third parties.
“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,” said Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.
Deutsche Telekom also confirmed plans to invest 20 billion euros ($23.1 billion) in Germany by 2021 to ensure that business, industry, and the general public can have access to 5G technology. Deutsche Telekom will team up with partners for the development of the 5G scenario.
“Industry associations, network operators, government, and research all have to get on the same page. We should be talking to each other instead of talking about each other, to ensure that the framework for 5G is built as solidly as possible and meets the needs of industry,” said Höttges. The executive highlighted a recent deal signed between Deutsche Telekom and rival operator Telefonica Deutschland, which enables Telefonica to use Deutsche Telekom’s fiber-optic network to connect its own mobile base stations for backhaul.
The German telco said that a total of 27,000 antenna sites are being prepared for initial 5G applications such as narrowband IoT.
Deutsche Telekom is also accelerating the installation of new antenna sites. The company currently operates 27,000 antennas 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 is already capable of supporting the first 5G applications.
“We’re ideally prepared for 5G, through the combination of fiber connections and modernization of our base stations,” said Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom’s board member for Technology and Innovation. “Our hefty investments in recent years are becoming noticeable. In the first stage, 5G will primarily enable high-speed networks for industry. Our campus network with our partner Osram is a pioneer here. We’ve teamed up to test the smart factory of tomorrow, with autonomous transport systems controlled by an extremely reliable high-performance network,” Nemat said.
The group is also currently building an entire 5G test cluster in the heart of Berlin and has completed several tests in recent months. The network in the Schöneberg and Mitte districts achieves transmission speeds of two gigabits per second and a latency of three milliseconds.
In a recent conference of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Höttges called on representatives from the political and industrial worlds to cooperate with network providers to pave the way for the best 5G infrastructure in the world.
“Companies, authorities, and citizens in Germany are entitled to the best-performing digital infrastructure. In urban centers and rural areas alike. Broadband for everyone instead of a digital divide remains the objective. We will only achieve this objective by working together, not by competing with one another,” Höttges said.
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