Deutsche Telekom has provided an update to its 5G plans for 2020, saying that more than half the German population will have access to 5G by the end of the year. Existing antennas are currently being upgraded and the technology is in initial field tests.
Deutsche Telekom’s approach is twofold. It currently has 5G high-speed antennas in operation in eight cities, and will continue to rollout additional antennas. At the same time, however, it is upgrading existing antennas – reusing the existing passive antenna technology and adopting a new approach (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) that enables the parallel operation of two mobile communications standards in one frequency band.
Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) means the radio band can be split between LTE and 5G according to demand. The network decides intelligently and dynamically which standard to use – enabling the network as a whole to become more efficient. This leads to an even better experience for customers.
“We are travelling throughout Germany to test this 5G variant in our network,” explains Walter Goldenits, Deutsche Telekom’s Head of Technology in Germany. “The test sites will then be the blueprint for Germany to supply more than half the population in the Telekom network with 5G this year.”
The company’s eight-point programme will provide 5G coverage to 99% of the population by 2025. By which time, 90% of the country will have 5G coverage. “LTE and 5G – both technologies are gaining ground. While the 5G network continues to grow, LTE is also becoming even stronger,” says Goldenits.
The technology offensive will also give LTE a further boost. Customers will receive a further frequency band for the use of LTE and thus more bandwidth. This means that part of the 3G spectrum can already be used for more powerful technologies, while 3G remains usable. 5G rates have been available from Deutsche Telekom for just under a year. The equipment portfolio for 5G is being gradually expanded and the first devices capable of handling it are expected to be available in mid-2020.
Deutsche Telekom’s CEO Dirk Wossner says that the company has “big plans” for 5G. “I’m delighted that the network will be even better for our customers. Preparations in the network are in full swing to ensure that as many people as possible get the new technology quickly. In the city and in the countryside.”