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Johannes Maisack

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Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom plan seamless mobile network along all tracks

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  • Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom plan seamless mobile network along all tracks
  • By 2026 passengers are to be able to make calls and surf the internet without interruption using the Deutsche Telekom network
  • Quality and performance of the mobile network to increase significantly.
Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom plan seamless mobile network along all tracks

Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom plan seamless mobile network along all tracks.

Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom are radically improving mobile reception on trains: in future, passengers using the Deutsche Telekom mobile communications network are to be able to make calls and surf the internet on all routes without interruption – in much better quality than currently available. By 2026 at the latest, coverage gaps along all railway lines in long-distance and regional services are to be eliminated.

Both companies have agreed that Deutsche Telekom is to build out its mobile communications network along Deutsche Bahn’s railway lines, close any gaps, and significantly increase its network’s performance. Together, the two companies are investing a sum in the hundreds of millions in order to achieve this goal. 

Dr. Richard Lutz, Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bahn: “The trains are not just a means of transport to our customers – they are an office, conference room, and place to relax all at the same time. To do all that, our passengers rightly demand that there be gap-free coverage with the mobile communications network. We are now laying the foundations needed to achieve this. This will make rail travel even more attractive. I am very proud that we have made this ground-breaking agreement with Deutsche Telekom.”

Timotheus Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom: "The cooperation between Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn is a clear signal. We want to make Germany more digital. Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Bahn have a shared responsibility for their customers. That's why we are now also tackling the issue of rail coverage together and want to ensure that customers can make phone calls, surf and stream in the best quality." 

Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure: "Whether at the station or in the tunnel, in the ICE or in the regional express - the time of 'I have no network' must come to an end. Mobile surfing and telephony must be possible everywhere and at all times. Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom are showing the way by systematically closing the gaps in the mobile network on all rail routes and significantly increasing data rates once again. This is what the future of train travel looks like."

The agreed collaboration on mobile network coverage is a milestone for Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom. Both want to make rail travel as pleasant as possible for their customers. Nearly all passengers already make use of the internet while on the train. Greatly improved mobile reception is needed for even more people to travel by train. Having more comfort on board is a driver for the mobility transformation and therefore a contribution to climate protection. 

Deutsche Telekom will specifically provide Deutsche Bahn’s entire rail network with gap-free coverage in its mobile communications network by the end of 2026. The planned investments will be made to build out many routes by 2024 and will be finished on all routes by the end of 2026. Passengers on a number of regional routes will then have reception for the very first time.

Deutsche Bahn’s rail network covers a total of 33,400 kilometers, 7,800 kilometers of which are major routes which are used by all ICE trains as well as main IC trains. Deutsche Telekom wants to supply these routes with data rates of more than 200 Mbit/s by the end of 2024. Deutsche Telekom also aims to supply a data rate of more than 200 Mbit/s by the end of 2025 on another 13,800 kilometers of heavily-traveled routes, which are used by more than 2,000 passengers each day. In both cases this is significantly more than is currently available. 

On all other routes, Deutsche Telekom aims to provide a data rate of more than 100 Mbit/s by the end of 2026. In the coming years, the coverage should then be continually updated to match the latest technical standards.

Deutsche Telekom will put around 800 new cell sites into operation in the coming years and expand its capacity at hundreds of sites in order to improve the mobile communications network all along the railway lines. 

Deutsche Bahn wants to make spaces and fiber-optic infrastructure available to an even greater extent all along its tracks and provide services relating to planning, permission, and construction processes. Deutsche Bahn is also working on making it easier for mobile communications signals to enter its train interiors.

About Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom at a glance

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