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Marion Kessing

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5G goes live in five cities

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  • 5G launches in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Bonn, and Darmstadt
  • More than 120 antennae transmitting live
  • Germany’s biggest continuous 5G coverage area – six square kilometers in Berlin
  • Hamburg and Leipzig also to get 5G by end of 2019
  • Targeted coverage instead of isolated antennae
Telekom 5G network: Speedtest

Telekom 5G network: Speedtest

The 5G network of Deutsche Telekom is now operational in five German cities – Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Darmstadt, and Munich. As the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) trade show gets underway, there are a total of 129 5G antennae across the country transmitting genuine 5G broadband, that is, bandwidths of 1 Gb/s and more. Some 66 antennae in Berlin’s Mitte district form the largest continuous 5G coverage area in Germany, at around six square kilometers. Deutsche Telekom is gradually expanding its 5G network clusters in these five major cities so that larger areas can be served and not just isolated spots around individual antennae. The aim is to provide maximum coverage so customers can enjoy an optimized network.

5G locations for 2019

Hamburg and Leipzig are also to benefit from 5G by the end of 2019. In total, there are plans to install more than 300 antennae in Germany by the end of the year. The network in all the 5G cities will also be consolidated further over the course of the coming year, and 5G will then be rolled out to more cities. By the end of 2020, at least 20 of the largest cities in Germany are to be connected to the network. 

“We are bringing 5G to city streets in line with our customers’ needs,” explains Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer at Telekom Deutschland GmbH. “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.”  

The technical requirements in the 5G rollout

Rolling out a new technology over a wider area is always pioneering work. “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,” says the CTO at Deutsche Telekom. That is why Deutsche Telekom is setting different priorities in the new 5G locations.

5G in Berlin

In Berlin, there are already 66 antennae transmitting in line with the new communication standard, 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 all the way 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 focus for 5G in Germany’s capital is to serve the city center with its tourist hotspots, such as Potsdamer Platz. In the south, areas such as Adlershof Technology Park are to benefit from 5G supplied by Deutsche Telekom.

5G in Cologne

As the IFA trade show starts, there are 12 new antennae providing 5G coverage in Cologne. During the first stage, the Deutz side of the Rhine, including parts of the exhibition grounds, is being covered. Another site is transmitting in Ehrenfeld. The aim for the coming months and years is to establish a ring of infrastructure in the city center. 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 antennae in Cologne alone.

5G in Munich

In Munich, the initial focus is on 5G for business. The first nine antennae are transmitting in Milbertshofen, between Frankfurter Ring and Petuelpark. By the end of the year, 5G is also to be available at BMW Park and in the Unterföhring media center, bringing the number of antennae to around 50. Deutsche Telekom is planning to head into Munich city center with its next expansion stage in 2020.

5G in Bonn

There are 24 antennae in total serving Bonn while the IFA trade show takes place. The focus at the beginning is on one commercial district along with leisure use in the evenings and at weekends. The first antennae to go into operation are also located in the city center, at the main train station and in the Beuel district. These are key convergence points in the public transport network, where mobile network usage is particularly high. By the end of the year, Deutsche Telekom aims to double the number of antennae in Bonn, bringing the total to more than 40. 

5G in Darmstadt

The 5G rollout in Darmstadt has started with test areas around the Deutsche Telekom sites there. The network, which currently comprises 18 antennae, stretches all the way up to the main train station. The next step over the coming 18 months will see coverage extended toward the city center and university areas. 

All 5G areas are now recorded on the Deutsche Telekom 5G coverage map at www.telekom.de/netzausbau, which shows customers where they can get a 5G signal. The map will be continuously updated as new locations are brought online.

LTE expansion

“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 explains. “When it comes to achieving rapid expansion, we appreciate the support of city and municipal authorities, particularly in terms of securing approvals quickly.”

Deutsche Telekom is establishing the 5G antennae in addition to its ongoing LTE rollout. 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. These new stations will be backed up by several thousand LTE extensions for existing masts, as Deutsche Telekom aims to extend LTE coverage to 98 percent of the population by the end of the year.

Deutsche Telekom is also continuing to expand LTE at coverage gaps, and is adopting a whole new approach with its “Wir jagen Funklöcher” (We’re closing coverage gaps) campaign. Under this initiative, communities that have no coverage can apply to Deutsche Telekom for one of 50 masts. As part of this approach, the company will be working hand in hand with municipal authorities to close the gaps in LTE. What’s more, the masts on offer are also already prepared for 5G.

Devices and plans

Consumers need new devices in order to use 5G, and the first approved commercial products are now available in the form of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and – exclusively available from Deutsche Telekom – the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G. There is also the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and the HTC 5G HUB. More devices are set to follow in the near future.

5G means higher bandwidths, faster transmission speeds, shorter response times, and a much more innovative network. From the smallest plan, MagentaMobil S at 39.95 euros per month, to the MagentaMobil XL package (84.95 euros per month), the new plans are all 5G-enabled.

Find out more about Deutsche Telekom at IFA 2019 here.

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