- Fiber offensive: more than 2.5 million new fiber connections made possible in 2023, reaching a total of more than ten million fiber households in 2024
- 5G front-runner: 5G population coverage of 96%, 5G Standalone also for private customers in 2024
- State-of-the-art technologies: Artificial intelligence supports fiber and mobile rollout
- EURO 2024: Deutsche Telekom connects all stadiums, fan zones & team quarters, data gift for all mobile customers
Deutsche Telekom looks back on a brilliant year of expansion. "Fiber is and remains the hot topic in our industry. The fiber optic boom is really taking off in Germany right now. We are building super-fast Internet for more and more people. There has never been as much fiber as in 2023," said Srini Gopalan, responsible for Germany on Deutsche Telekom's Board of Management, at the company's Network Day in Bonn.
Deutsche Telekom has enabled more than 2.5 million new fiber connections this year and has thus fully achieved its plans. A total of eight million households will be able to book a fiber optic connection by the end of the year. In almost 3,500 towns and municipalities, Telekom has expanded coverage. Deutsche Telekom also continued its extensive expansion in mobile communications: 96 percent of the population can now use Deutsche Telekom's 5G network - in other words, over 80 million people. "We will continue with the same concentration and focus in the coming years and keep up the pace," emphasized Gopalan. "We are the reliable partner for Germany. We build what we promise. We want to turn people in Germany into fiber fans and 5G fans." In 2024, Deutsche Telekom wants to maintain the level of fiber expansion and once again enable more than 2.5 million new households to have fiber. Deutsche Telekom is therefore fully on track to break the sound barrier of ten million fiber optic connections in the coming year. In mobile communications, the consistent 5G orientation continues. Next year, private customers will also be able to use 5G Standalone (SA).
State-of-the-art technologies: Artificial intelligence improves the network
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used in network expansion. For example, in network planning with the T-Car to measure and calculate optimal fiber optic expansion routes. Or in mobile communications, where AI is helping to analyze and evaluate cell usage and capacity utilization. Telekom is currently developing its own large language model for telco-specific applications together with SK Telekom. AI also contributes to better network security through automated pattern recognition.
Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, says: "We want to exploit the enormous opportunities offered by AI without being naive about the risks. We want to educate people about both. And be a technology pioneer at the same time. By developing and using human-centered AI and letting our customers participate in it. I believe in Germany as a republic of AI opportunities!"
Telekom fiber optic expansion: "We are building without any ifs and buts"
The use of fiber is increasing. The number of contracts has risen continuously over the last few quarters. "We will reach the one millionth contract at the beginning of 2024. We also have more than 700,000 households and companies in the pipeline that have already booked a connection in the pre-marketing phase," Gopalan continued. "We build without any ifs and buts. Our business model is very long-term. We can see that the demand for bandwidth is continuing to grow. With FTTH, we are already building the infrastructure for the future today." This year, Deutsche Telekom has invested more than 2.5 billion euros in pure fiber optic expansion - far more than any other competitor. By 2030, a total of 30 billion euros will flow into the fiber optic rollout.
Reinforcement for even more power: Magenta digger
Deutsche Telekom has laid two out of three new fiber optic lines in Germany this year. In order to achieve this enormous speed of expansion, Deutsche Telekom is constantly strengthening its own team. This year, the company has hired more than 1,000 new fiber optic experts. In addition, the company's own engineering company, Tiefbau GmbH, which was founded in the fall, is picking up speed and providing more capacity. Deutsche Telekom plans to hire around 230 employees by the end of 2024.
Partnership-based marketing and cooperation in expansion
The partnership-based customer approach is important for the high pace of fiber expansion. With fiber optic contracts for more than four million households, including 1.2 million new contracts this year, Deutsche Telekom has reached a milestone in the residential sector. This is driven in particular by the partnership between Telekom and the umbrella association of housing companies in Germany, GdW. It was signed in May of this year. Together, the two partners want to bring fiber optics to GdW homes faster and more easily. Millions of tenants can thus benefit from a fiber optic connection free of charge. The first results of the cooperation can already be seen in Braunschweig, Trier and Wismar. Housing associations here have already agreed to Telekom's fiber optic expansion.
In addition to its own rollout, Telekom is also organizing the network expansion in partnerships: Telekom currently has a total of around 40 partnerships for the joint construction, operation or use of fiber optic infrastructure - from municipal energy suppliers to regional, mostly municipal network operators, to larger competitors. These include 18 municipal utilities alone. Every third Telekom fiber connection is currently created as part of a cooperation. The open access principle is another unique selling point of the Telekom network. Telekom grants other companies access to its fiber-optic network on a commercial and non-discriminatory basis. More than 30 network partners who actively market the network already make use of this. In addition, there are regulatory obligations, for example for access to empty pipes, which are currently being developed in a procedure by the BNetzA.
Leader in mobile communications and 5G Standalone for private customers from 2024
Deutsche Telekom's mobile network should also always offer customers the best network experience. 5G access for 96% of the population - ensured by a total of over 80,000 5G antennas. Deutsche Telekom has reached a new milestone on the particularly fast 3.6 gigahertz frequency: over 10,000 antennas are now transmitting in more than 800 cities and municipalities. And with download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. "Our goal remains: We want to reach 99% of the population in Germany with 5G by 2025. Here, too, Germany can rely on us," said Srini Gopalan. "We also want to offer 5G Standalone for our private customers in 2024." Deutsche Telekom's business customers are already using the technology with functions such as network slicing. For example, for live TV transmission of media or in 5G campus networks for industry and research. In the coming year, 5G SA should then offer all customers real added value.
Open RAN: Deutsche Telekom plans thousands of antenna sites
Deutsche Telekom is making progress with its open antenna access network, the so-called Open Radio Access Network (ORAN). Unlike in the past, components from a large number of different technology suppliers work together. The first network of such antennas has been operating in the commercial network for the first time since December 2023 and covers areas in Neubrandenburg. Nokia and Fujitsu are supplying the necessary technology components.
"Open RAN increases the choice of manufacturers and therefore our flexibility. The open access network enables more automation. And makes our networks even more resilient. This benefits the people that our mobile network connects," says Claudia Nemat.
Deutsche Telekom is planning more than 3,000 ORAN-compatible antenna sites by the end of 2026. The expectation and goal is a network of the future that is even more flexible, secure, energy-efficient and customer-centric.
Even more mobile communications for highways and railways
In cooperation with Autobahn GmbH, mobile surfing and telephoning is getting better and better. In future, 5G and LTE from Deutsche Telekom with at least 200 Mbit/s will be available nationwide on all freeways in Germany. Both partners want to determine locations for 400 new mobile phone masts on the highway by the end of 2024. The first 50 locations have already been determined, with 75 planned by the end of the year.
Highlight: The planned new mobile phone masts also include "super masts". These sites are so conveniently located that they provide mobile phone coverage for the highway and railroad line at the same time. The location for the first "super mast" has already been determined: Bruchmühlbach on the A6. Construction will start next year.
Deutsche Telekom is also pressing ahead with the expansion of its network along the railroad. A seamless mobile network should be available on all routes by the end of 2026. This year, Deutsche Telekom has built 150 new mobile phone masts along the rail network and is continuously modernizing existing sites. These measures are paying off: Surfing and telephony have improved significantly on around 5,000 kilometers of the rail network since the start of the cooperation with Deutsche Bahn - especially on regional routes. Deutsche Telekom already provides 97 percent of the high-traffic routes with 200 Mbit/s. On ICE routes, Deutsche Telekom customers can even surf at 200 Mbit/s in 99 percent of cases.
Location found by poster ad
Collaborations such as those with Autobahn GmbH and Deutsche Bahn speed up and simplify the search for and selection of new mobile network locations enormously. Nevertheless, one of the biggest challenges in network expansion remains the search for locations for new masts - throughout Germany. For this reason, Deutsche Telekom is expanding its campaign to find new sites for antennas using posters. The first posters in Überlingen on Lake Constance were successful: the campaign has enabled Telekom to find four promising new mobile communications sites. One of them has already been realized. Telekom is now continuing the poster campaign in eleven other cities throughout Germany.
Test winner in all relevant tests
Deutsche Telekom's mobile network is in a class of its own. This is confirmed by all relevant network tests in Germany this year. Telekom defended its top position as test winner in Chip, connect, ComputerBild, Imtest and Smartphone Magazin and was awarded top marks without exception. Telekom once again improved its own performance compared to the previous year and further extended its lead over the competition.
Outlook for 2024: Best network for UEFA EURO 2024 and unlimited data volume
One of the highlights of the coming year is the European Football Championship starting on June 14. Deutsche Telekom will provide the best network - especially in all stadiums, fan miles and team quarters. Telekom is optimizing its mobile network at a total of 430 locations for soccer fans. To this end, it is expanding capacities at existing locations, building new ones or deploying temporary solutions. As a result of these measures, Telekom is strengthening more than 13,000 cells in the mobile network. Nine of the ten European Championship stadiums will receive 5G on the 3.6 gigahertz high-speed frequency. Within the stadiums, Deutsche Telekom will provide the best connectivity and high-speed via 5G, LAN and WLAN. The company is laying 50 kilometers of fiber optics in the ten stadiums and providing 600 switches and 1,000 access points. In total, more than 600 Telekom technicians will be deployed during the European Championships.
Telekom is also connecting UEFA's international broadcasting center in Leipzig so that the TV images of the tournament can reach the whole world. Deutsche Telekom is the only TV platform to broadcast all 51 matches of this tournament on MagentaTV, five of them exclusively. Deutsche Telekom also has an exclusive data gift for its mobile customers: It is switching its tariffs to unlimited during the tournament.
You can find even more information on Telekom's network expansion in our new network magazine (German):
About Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom Group profile