An article by Dirk Wössner, Board Member for Germany and Managing Director of Telekom Deutschland GmbH.
The Stuttgart region – which includes the state capital and five neighboring districts – has partnered with Deutsche Telekom for its broadband expansion. For us, this decision is equal parts honor and obligation. After all, this region is home not only to nearly three million people, but also to many global market leaders and one of the strongest regional economies in Europe.
What are our plans together?
By 2022, we will supply 90 percent of company sites in business parks with fiber to the home. By 2025, half of all households, all business parks, and all eligible schools will be connected with FTTH. Ultimately, 90 of the total 1.38 million households will benefit from gigabit lines by 2030. What's more, all of the nearly 140,000 company sites and businesses are to be covered by 2030.
We're going to get started as soon as the ink on the contract dries. The gigabit network will then grow day by day and month by month.
5G is essential to big cities
We will also boost LTE coverage to 98 percent, by closing gaps and setting up new mobile base stations. And we are building the network of tomorrow together: 5G. Stuttgart is a forerunner here. It is one of the first regions that will implement the next-generation communications standard, which will serve as the foundation for the Internet of Things, to take traffic management and air pollution control to the next level, for example. 5G is essential to the future of big cities. We're setting course for the future in the Stuttgart region today!
When the first excavators roll out soon, one thing will be very important to me: we are only planning, building, and operating this network together with our partner. And we will open it to third parties at fair market conditions. As such, regulatory intervention is not needed, nor would it be expedient. To the contrary: we must prevent the old regulatory principles for the copper-based network from being transferred to the new fiber-optic network. Otherwise we will not be able to build the network in the Stuttgart region within the projected time and cost framework. Regulation must not stand in the way of this innovative partnership model, the first of its kind in Germany. We are developing new expansion paths and new business models. This new world is incompatible with the old world's regulatory restrictions. Incidentally, none of the companies that are investing in fiber-optic upgrades is asking for regulatory intervention.
Broadband coverage? Best tackled together!
Whether people move away from rural areas or whether large companies and SMEs set up shop there and give the residents a reason to stay depends on local broadband coverage, among other factors. We know this. That's why we take our mission as digitalization partner to Germany seriously: every eight minutes, we set up a new multifunctional cabinet – the gray boxes at the side of the road. They are chock full of the technology that Germany needs. Our fiber-optic network will break the 500,000 kilometer mark this year and we will be able to offer at least 50 Mbit/s to around 80 percent of all households in Germany by the end of 2019.
We are the digitalization engine for Germany. No one is devoting as many resources to Germany's digital infrastructure as Deutsche Telekom. And no one is investing as much as we do – a fact demonstrated once more with the gigabit project in the Stuttgart region. The core focus of all these activities is the interests of the residents, the communities, and the companies.
It is clear that we will also be relying on local support and collaboration with the residents. No single company can handle the monumental task of digitalization alone – not even Deutsche Telekom. When it comes to Germany's future sustainability, we're all in the same boat.