Deutsche Telekom has just announced that its 5G network is already operational in five German cities – Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Darmstadt, and Munich. As of today, there are some 129 5G antennas across Germany already transmitting genuine 5G broadband, which means bandwidths of 1 Gb/s and more. 66 of them form the largest continuous 5G coverage area in Germany — the Berlin’s Mitte district.
Deutsche Telekom aims at providing its customers the maximum 5G coverage and the telecom expands gradually its 5G network clusters in these five major cities to ensure larger areas can be served and not just isolated spots around individual antennas.
According to Deutsche Telekom, 5G will also be made available to Hamburg and Leipzig before the end of 2019. The telecom’s plans include some 300 5G antennas to be installed across Germany before the year ends. Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network will further be consolidated during the next few years in order for the 5G to be launched in more cities across Germany. According to the company, Germany’s 20 largest cities will be connected to the 5G network by the end of 2020.
Commenting on the 5G roll out, Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer at Telekom Deutschland GmbH, said:
“We are bringing 5G to city streets in line with our customers’ needs. 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.”
Commenting on the technical aspects of the 5G rollout, Walter Goldenits, added further:
“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.”
Rolling out a new technology over a wider area is always pioneering work. That is the reason why Deutsche Telekom is setting different priorities in the new 5G locations.
At the same time, Deutsche Telekom is working on putting all 5G areas on its 5G coverage map, which will help customers find where they can get a 5G signal. The 5G coverage map can be found over the following web site: www.telekom.de/netzausbau, and it will be continuously updated as new locations are added.
Commenting on the LTE expansion, Deutsche Telekom’s CTO Goldenits, explained:
“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. When it comes to achieving rapid expansion, we appreciate the support of city and municipal authorities, particularly in terms of securing approvals quickly.”
In general, Deutsche Telekom is setting up its 5G antennas in parallel with the ongoing LTE rollout. In the plans of the telecom are some 4,000 new LTE mobile base stations to be set up in the next 2 years. And half of them will be located in rural areas across Germany.
In the plans of Deutsche Telekom is the extension of the LTE coverage to 98 percent of the population by the end of 2019 as these new LTE stations will be backed up by several thousand LTE extensions for existing masts.
In parallel, the telecom is also working on expanding LTE at coverage gaps, and is adopting a whole new approach with its “We’re closing coverage gaps” (in German: “Wir jagen Funklöcher”) campaign. Deutsche Telekom’s Wir jagen Funklöcher initiative gives a chance to communities with no coverage to apply for one of 50 masts that are also already prepared for 5G. As part of this campaign, the telecom will also be working hand in hand with municipal authorities to close the gaps in LTE.