German operator Deutsche Telekom announced that around 15,000 additional antennas will be transmitting with 5G technology in the telco’s network by the end of the week.
In a release, the European carrier said that its technicians have made the antennas fit for 5G with a software update.
The company said that these network updates will benefit a number of large cities, including Nuremberg and Hanover, as well as rural areas like Schwanebeck in the Harz Mountains or Westerland on Sylt.
Deutsche Telekom is using different frequencies for its 5G expansion. The focus is on the 2.1 GHz and 3.6 GHz frequency bands. The 15,000 new 5G antennas are transmitting on the 2.1 GHz frequency.
Deutsche Telekom is already providing 5G coverage to over 16 million people in over 1,000 towns across Germany. The operator recently said that it expected a total of 40 million people throughout Germany to be reached by the operator’s 5G network by mid-July.
Deutsche Telekom previously said expects to deploy 5G technology in 14 large cities this year to reach its goal of rolling out this technology in at least 20 of the largest German cities by the end of 2020.
In a previous conference call with investors, the carrier’s CEO Timotheus Höttges said Deutsche Telekom aims to cover half of the country with 5G technology during 2020.
“We will switch on 5G in 2.1GHz in at least half of Germany already this year. 2.1 GHz is excellent for 5G because this spectrum range combines speed with good propagation,” the executive said.
“We will have the top 20 cities covered with 3.6 GHz. Going forward, we will leverage other spectrum ranges, such as 700 MHz frequencies. So we have a mix of low band, mid band [and]high band, which is, compared to my competition, significantly better, and we will roll out faster than anybody else. So comparing the commitments of Vodafone with ours, we will have four times more coverage already by the end of the year with regard to 5G,” Höttges added.
Deutsche Telekom also said it had already decided in 2019 to phase out Chinese suppliers from its core network. This also applies to the 5G core network, which is currently undergoing standardization. The core network contains the central elements for controlling and processing data in the network. On the other hand, the access or antenna network consists of the radio masts and the associated transmitting and receiving equipment, the telco said.
The operator noted that in the antenna network sector, it is technically impossible to upgrade 5G from one manufacturer to 4G components from another manufacturer. In today’s existing RAN, mainly components from Ericsson and Huawei are installed, Deutsche Telekom said.
To upgrade this antenna network from 4G to 5G, Deutsche Telekom will continue to use the existing suppliers Ericsson and Huawei. The company said it has already concluded new contracts with both companies for this purpose.
Deutsche Telekom kicked off the rollout of its 5G network in a limited number of cities across Germany at the beginning of July 2019.