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Deutsche Telekom sets even faster pace for fiber rollout

In the coming year, Deutsche Telekom plans to significantly increase the pace of its fiber rollout. 2.5 to 3 million connections are to be added in 2023, significantly more than this year. In the current year, Telekom’s fiber team is fully on track to achieve the goal of offering FTTH connections to an additional 2 million households and businesses. This was said by Telekom Germany CEO Srini Gopalan at the company’s Network Day in Bonn. By the end of 2022, Telekom will increase its fiber reach to a total of 5.2 million connections. By 2024, it is expected to have more than ten million connections.

“Our fiber optic engine is running. We have built more fiber this year than all other competitors combined. In the second phase, we will bring even more fiber even faster to our customers. It’s all about growth and scaling. We have a clear plan that we are implementing with our strong team,” said Srini Gopalan, responsible for business in Germany at Telekom. “Our 5G coverage already reaches 94 percent of people in Germany a good three years after launch. Whether mobile or fiber, our ambition is to be ahead for our customers.”

Fast and directly on site
Telekom relies on a regional approach so that it can rollout fiber optics quickly and efficiently on site. Arrangements with municipalities, work in the streets and marketing to households and businesses are a regional business. To this end, Telekom has set up teams that think, plan and act regionally. They make decisions on the selection of areas and the deployment of investments.

Cooperative ventures continue to be an important element in the rollout. Telekom is working successfully with partners on fiber rollout, from local city network operators to competitors. For example, 134,000 FTTH lines are to be created in Bochum in cooperation with Glasfaser Ruhr. In the cooperation with Stadtwerke Münster, the first customers have been connected to the network since this summer. And close local cooperation is also paying off in the Stuttgart gigabit region: 120 communities in the Stuttgart region are already benefiting from high-speed Internet. More than 260,000 households there can already book a fiber connection from Telekom, over 60,000 of them in the state capital. GlasfaserPlus, which was established just over a year ago, has got off to a good start and already has more than 550,000 households on the market.

1000 new fiber experts
Fiber optic expansion is also a job machine. Deutsche Telekom plans to increase the number of fiber optic installers in the Fiber Factory by 50 percent. “The increase we have set ourselves for fiber optic expansion in 2023 is enormous. To ensure that we can continue to deliver on our promises, we need to invest in more than just network technology,” Gopalan continued. “We want to hire up to 1,000 new fiber experts. The majority of them for the installation area. We urgently need this power to get superfast connections into people’s living rooms.”

Mobile network expansion: 94 percent 5G coverage
Telekom has exceeded its targets for 2022 in terms of mobile network expansion. 94 percent of people in Germany can already use 5G. More than 80,000 antennas are transmitting 5G. Of these, around 8,000 antennas will be using the fast 5G frequency in the 3.6 gigahertz band by the end of the year. The goal for the 5G rollout is to cover 99 percent of the population by 2025.

“More capacity, more performance and always the best experience for customers – these are our goals for the rollout. With the 5G rollout, this has worked out at a pace that we have never seen with any other mobile standard,” said Walter Goldenits, Head of Technology at Telekom Deutschland. “Our commitment and investments in mobile expansion are paying off. Independent tests have once again confirmed that Deutsche Telekom has the best network. We are proud of this, but we will not rest on our laurels. We are continuing to accelerate our rollout to provide 99 percent of the population with 5G by 2025.”

Top in all network tests
Telekom’s mobile network is the best in Germany. That is the result of the latest test by ComputerBild. Telekom thus wins the sixth major network test of the year. Stiftung Warentest, Imtest, Smartphone Magazin, Connect and Chip had previously named Telekom’s mobile network the winner.

Telekom is constantly expanding its mobile network so that customers can surf the web even better. In addition to new sites, the technology in the existing network is also being further improved. This involves providing sites with new, innovative technology that then offers more performance for all mobile communications standards. This makes the network fit for the future.

5G campus networks
The deployment of 5G in industrial campus networks is picking up speed. A total of 32 companies are now already relying on these offerings from Telekom. 5G campus networks are being used, for example, for the development of autonomous cranes in the Port of Duisburg. They network machines for plastics processing at the Arburg company and support a research project for delivery drones in the Sauerland region.

5G Standalone is now technically available in the 2.1 GHz frequency band. After the 3.6 GHz band and the 700 MHz band, these antennas are also connected to the 5G Standalone core network. Commercial use of 5G Standalone for residential customers will start as soon as applications are available. In the business customer segment, the TV broadcaster RTL is already using network slicing in the 5G Standalone network. For live video productions, the technology delivers a stable TV picture over a specific slice in the network for RTL.

New networks – new applications
Telekom is already looking at the successor technology 6G at a very early stage. The company has taken the lead in two 6G research projects with partners from industry, academia and science. “This early, joint start is important to prepare the ground for the sixth generation of communications technology,” said Claudia Nemat Board member for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. At the same time, she said, the innovation unit is looking at new applications. “What seems like a gimmick today could be tomorrow’s business case. And one thing is clear – it all requires our high-performance networks.”

Holographic calls
Holograms and avatars often appear in science fiction movies. However, hologram communication is already possible today, even if it is costly. In the future, true-to-life 3D replicas could become commonplace. And they will be as easy to use as a telephone call. For the caller, it feels like a normal video call: The selfie camera films with the smartphone in front of the face. The caller sees the person they are talking to as a hologram in their VR glasses. Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone are working on this in a joint project with the startup Matsuko.

Sustainable networks
The ever-increasing volume of data poses a challenge for networks in terms of sustainability. That’s why Telekom wants to decouple energy consumption more strongly from the growth in data volumes on the Internet. The aim is to reduce energy consumption across Europe. In Germany, it should even be at least ten percent lower in 2024 compared with 2020. “We have a responsibility to protect the climate. That is why sustainable network technology is essential for Telekom’s network,” said Claudia Nemat. “Above all, the introduction and use of new technologies such as AI and the shutdown of legacy systems such as the PSTN platform and 3G, the replacement of copper lines with fiber optics or even the dismantling of public telephone booths are measures for energy efficiency.”

New CTO Germany takes over at the beginning of the year
At the Network Day, the future head of network at Telekom Deutschland presented himself for the first time. Abdu Mudesir will take over the position as Managing Director Technology for Telekom Deutschland at the beginning of 2023. In addition, he will continue in his role as Group CTO. This will allow national and international issues to be further dovetailed. Mudesir will succeed Walter Goldenits, who is leaving the top technology position at Telekom Deutschland at his own request after six years.

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