Deutsche Telekom has kicked off the network rollout for 5G in Germany. By the end of the year, some 300 5G antennas in more than 100 locations will be built and brought online. The rollout is starting in six German cities: first, Berlin and Bonn, to be followed by Darmstadt, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Munich. In the upcoming 18 months, the 20 largest cities in Germany will all be connected with 5G.
These major cities and conurbations are home to millions of people who are on the go every day and will benefit particularly from new 5G applications. That’s why Deutsche Telekom is starting the 5G rollout in metropolises, continuing with the build-out of the network successively in less densely populated areas. The first devices and matching rate plans for 5G are available now. hubraum, Deutsche Telekom’s tech incubator, is providing 5G applications. In the past months, 18 start-ups developed their 5G products in Deutsche Telekom’s live network in Berlin.
“We punched our ticket for a 5G future with the spectrum auction. Our goal now is to get 5G to the streets, to our customers, as quickly as possible. Nearly three-quarters of our antenna locations in Germany are connected with optical fiber – we’re now building on that,” says Dirk Wössner, Member of the Board of Management, Deutsche Telekom, and Managing Director, Telekom Deutschland GmbH. “Our teams are working hard in every area. Whether we’re talking about the network, rate plans, or devices and applications – we’re speeding up to get 5G started this year. At the same time, we need a clear regulatory framework and pragmatism from the authorities – particularly when it comes to questions regarding regional spectrum, local roaming, allocation of the auction proceeds, and the approval procedures – which takes far too long in Germany.”
In the mobile network, 5G is coming in addition to the concurrent LTE build-out. Dirk Wössner: “5G is the future. But at the same time, we know we still have to do our homework in our existing network, which is why the LTE build-out is still a major focus. We plan to build around 2,000 new mobile base stations this year alone. A particular aim is to eliminate white spots in rural areas.”
In parallel, Deutsche Telekom is working on 5G campus networks, together with industrial users. In this approach, the network build-out follows the specific needs of business customers. “We’re already working on the 5G network with Osram and automotive supplier ZF,” says Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom Board Member, Technology and Innovation. “Whether mobility concepts in cities, manufacturing in the industry of tomorrow, or virtual reality in the entertainment sector is involved: 5G is the key. And the industry can count on us as a partner in the 5G rollout.”
5G pioneers in Deutsche Telekom’s network
18 start-ups at hubraum, Deutsche Telekom’s tech incubator, already tested their 5G ideas in the past months, using the live conditions of Deutsche Telekom’s 5G test field in Berlin. They were also able to use edge computing there. With this technology, the network responds immediately because the computing power of the cloud is moved as close to the customer as possible. Examples of the start-ups’ 5G products include real-time sports information, training with data glasses and data gloves, and autonomous robots in factories.
“We intentionally opened up our 5G and edge infrastructure for start-ups and their ideas at a very early stage. Thanks to our collaboration with the start-ups, we’ve learned a great deal about how 5G can be experienced,” says Claudia Nemat. “The feedback from the 5G pioneers showed us how future applications can benefit from the combination of 5G and edge computing.”
For early adopters: First 5G devices and rate plans available now
For everyone who wants to benefit from 5G right from the beginning, Deutsche Telekom is offering 5G devices and matching rate plans – the first provider in Germany to do so. Deutsche Telekom’s first 5G smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and is available in Telekom Shops now. The S10 5G costs 899.95 euros in the Magenta Mobil XL Special rate plan. Customers can also trade in their old smartphones in exchange for a 200 euros credit. Deutsche Telekom is also offering an early adopter discount of 100 euros. The new Unlimited rate plan offers unlimited surfing for 84.95 euros per month. Customers use Deutsche Telekom’s LTE network and 5G in future. 5G connections are activated automatically whenever they are available.
The HTC 5G Hub works as a portable hotspot and can connect up to 20 devices with the network in parallel. It offers fast data – including via 5G in future. Typical peak speeds per user can reach up to 1 GBit/s, depending on the technology used. With an Android operating system on board, the Hub also offers a variety of mobile apps. The HTC device costs 555.55 euros in the Magenta Mobil Speedbox XL rate plan and is available now. This new rate plan is the first data-only plan with unlimited data volume, including 5G in future. It costs 74.95 euros per month.
“For our customers a new era will dawn with 5G: 3G has helped music streaming to its breakthrough, with 4G videos were added. 5G will take gaming and augmented reality into a new dimension,” says Michael Hagspihl, Managing Director for Consumers at Telekom Deutschland. “Telekom is 5G ready and offers the first 5G devices with suitable rate plans for everyone who wants to be there from the start.”
New 5G test bed in Bonn
Deutsche Telekom is now testing 5G in Bonn, as well, the location of the company’s headquarters. Five locations in Bonn have already been equipped with the new communications standard. In combination with Deutsche Telekom’s 5G lab, the new network will be used primarily to test the interaction between network and devices. In a live test with commercially available devices, the Bonn 5G network has already reached transmission speeds of over 1 GBit/s. Deutsche Telekom operates other test fields in Berlin and Darmstadt. According to plans, all the test fields will be released for live 5G operation for customers in this year.