Deutsche Telekom has reasserted its extensive build-out plans to further improve the mobile communications network in Bavaria. The company intends to build 1,000 new mobile base stations by the end of 2020.
In addition, Deutsche Telekom will upgrade 1,200 existing sites with additional services. At the signing of the mobile communications pact with the Bavarian government in Munich, Dirk Wössner, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Germany, said: “Powerful mobile communications networks are a decisive prerequisite for digitalization in both urban and rural areas. They are also the key driver. Reliable, gap-free coverage with mobile communications and 5G along traffic routes is crucial, particularly for innovative traffic management concepts and technologies.”
To this end, Deutsche Telekom already launched an extensive program in Bavaria in November 2017, aimed at speeding up the network build-out. In addition to the 1,000 planned new base stations, the company also plans to fill another 100 coverage gaps, often also referred to as “white spots.” A prerequisite for the build-out, however, is that local municipalities support Deutsche Telekom in setting up the new sites. In addition, Deutsche Telekom plans to eliminate 35 white spots through shared use of government sites.
The company is already creating facts on the ground: Over the past eight months, it has commissioned 30 new mobile base stations in Bavaria. It has also upgraded 220 sites with new services.
Deutsche Telekom continues to modernize its network in Bavaria with other measures, in parallel to those described above. In the coming months, most sites in Bavaria will be equipped with the latest single RAN technology and LTE 900. The “#LTEeverywhere” program will ensure that fast data transmission becomes possible in areas that currently only support voice telephony. It will be implemented in the coming months.
The company is also conducting talks with the Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland, to improve coverage in border-adjacent areas.
Deutsche Telekom is investing more than five billion euros in Germany every year. Bavaria will benefit from a significant slice of this sum. Speaking in Munich, Wössner emphasized: “The challenge for the politicians and the mobile carriers is to ensure that the upgrades also include rural areas. As a mobile network operator, we depend on active local government support in the selection and construction of the new sites. This applies to municipal bodies in particular.” Deutsche Telekom requires serviceable radio transmission sites to provide sufficient, comprehensive coverage. “That’s why we welcome the mobile communications pact signed today,” said Wössner. “We think the planned program will be helpful in eliminating white spots. Government support can help close the profitability gap and ensure comprehensive coverage even in rural areas with low population density and where the terrain makes coverage difficult.”
Wössner stated that Deutsche Telekom will also do all it can to ensure the greatest possible 5G coverage in Bavaria. “But Deutsche Telekom will only be able to commit to such investments in comprehensive coverage if the right framework is established.” He referred to the current debates regarding the upcoming spectrum allocation for 5G and called for greater certainty for future investments, instead of the threat of regulation through the back door: new requirements risk endangering the “5G experience” for customers.