Telefónica Deutschland improving O2 network across multiple cities

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Telefónica Deutschland successfully moved ahead with the modernisation and expansion of its O2 mobile network in 2018. The network integration of O2 and E-Plus has made particularly good progress, with network quality improving in many areas.

This has been confirmed by current measurements from network testing specialist P3 for major cities such as Cologne and Leipzig. Customers in increasing numbers of cities and regions can now benefit from a new and improved O2 network thanks to the network integration, which is now in its final stages across all of Germany.

More improvements will be visible in the course of the next months with the progress of the subsequent network optimization – especially in rural areas and regions, where the consolidation will largely be finished until year-end.

“Although our network integration measures are still ongoing, they are already showing a positive impact in numerous German cities,” said Cayetano Carbajo Martín, Management Board member and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Telefónica Deutschland. “This year, we have taken measures of a unique magnitude to expand our network so that our customers can enjoy a better network experience. At the same time, we are working consistently on the network of the future, boosting the performance of our O2 network in the long run.”

Improved network experience in numerous cities and regions

Over the last few months, Telefónica Deutschland has completed the network integration in numerous cities and regions. As well as modernising existing mobile radio sites, the company has also further improved local network performance for its customers by constructing additional LTE stations. These extensive integration measures and upgrades are enhancing long-term network quality for customers in all German regions:

– Very good network quality for the O2 network in the greater Leipzig-Halle area Telefónica Deutschland has modernised around 260 mobile radio sites and constructed approximately 100 new LTE stations for the new O2 network in Leipzig so far. The latest measurements from the independent network testing specialist P3 Communications, commissioned by Telefónica Deutschland, rated the Leipzig O2 network’s network quality as “very good”. The O2 network in Halle (Saale), where Telefónica Deutschland modernized more than 100 mobile radio sites and added more than 70 LTE stations, was also considered “very good” and showed significant improvements.

– O2 customers in Cologne also benefiting from good network experience The network integration work has also significantly boosted network quality in Cologne, with the O2 network in the city rated as “good” by current P3 measurements. In recent months, Telefónica Deutschland has upgraded around 280 mobile radio sites at the same time as equipping an additional 120 mobile radio sites with LTE capacity in the major city in North Rhine-Westphalia.

– Lübeck benefits from improved O2 network In Lübeck, Telefónica Deutschland has updated around 80 mobile radio sites, built approximately 40 new LTE stations and added additional capacity to existing locations. Current measurements rate the new O2 network as “good”.

– The new O2 network in Munich already secured a “good” rating in a regional network test conducted by specialist magazine connect in August 2018, marking a giant leap forward. Thanks to the extensive network expansion, the specialist magazine even certified the O2 network as having the best coverage quality of all the providers in the entire city for voice and data.

Over the last few months, Telefónica Deutschland has also successfully modernised the O2 network in cities including Dortmund, Stuttgart, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Ludwigshafen, Wolfsburg, Münster, Hamm, Karlsruhe, Wesel, Minden, Hildesheim, Salzgitter, Delmenhorst and Neumünster as well as in numerous rural areas.

In total, the network engineers from Telefónica Deutschland have carried out conversion and modernisation work on tens of thousands of mobile radio sites as part of this unique major project. The network integration work will be largely completed by the company by the end of 2018, followed by further network optimization measures.

New O2 network provides optimum foundation for further network expansion

The new O2 network provides an optimum foundation for further network expansion, as a fully integrated and updated mobile network allows future expansion and improvement measures to be implemented even more efficiently.

Telefónica Deutschland is thus following its user-oriented network strategy consistently, offering all customers reliable and strong network coverage so as to become the mobile customer & digital champion. In spite of the focus on the major network integration project, Telefónica Deutschland has also continued to invest significantly in the LTE expansion and the network of the future.

The O2 network was extended by around 5,000 LTE stations in the first nine months of this year alone, ensuring that more customers at more and more locations can benefit from higher mobile data speeds.

This year, the company has also set the course for the upcoming 5G standard by equipping more of its mobile radio sites with high-speed fibre-optic lines. Telefónica Deutschland is therefore successfully focussing on partnerships with other network operators such as Deutsche Telekom (connection of at least 5,000 sites in total) and Vodafone (joint fibre-optic connections) as well as to alternative infrastructure providers including NGN FIBER NETWORK KG and GasLINE (each connecting at least 1,500 sites). Completing its network integration will allow Telefónica Deutschland to concentrate its resources entirely on expanding the LTE network and network optimisation in 2019, further improving network quality, and thus customers’ network experience, across Germany.

3 questions on the network expansion for Cayetano Carbajo Martín, Management Board member and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Telefónica Deutschland

What conclusions do you draw looking back on this year’s network expansion measures?

Our network expansion this year was unique in its scope – we built more new LTE stations than any other network provider in Germany. On average, we performed over 120 LTE upgrades a week over the course of the year. The fact that we were the only mobile provider that also had to cope with a network integration posed a challenge.

This integration work has taken top priority for us over the last year, and we will have it largely completed by the end of the year. Our customers ultimately stand to benefit twofold from this – thanks to both an improved network experience and an O2 network that is fit for the future.

After completing the integration, we will be able to focus our efforts even more closely on expanding the LTE network and network optimisation. The annual network tests from the familiar telco magazines are set to take place over the next few weeks.

What are you expecting?

Of course, we have to remember that the measurement criteria tend to be tightened each year, which makes it harder to compare results from year to year. Our o2 network is in a fundamental transformation process: In already consolidated cities and regions, initial internal and external results e.g. for Munich, Cologne and Leipzig show that we have made clear improvements. We can continue to build on this – especially if we push on with rolling out improved network quality in rural areas and nationwide in the future, where there is still some optimization work to do.

Therefore, we can expect further, significant improvements to our network performance next year.

What is in the works for the O2 network expansion in 2019?

Our thoroughly modernised O2 network provides us with the optimal foundation for expanding the LTE network and further optimisation. Given that we no longer have to allocate a large part of our available capacity to the major network integration project, in 2019 we can really turn our attention to nationwide LTE network expansion.

We will also aim our focus at improving network coverage along motorways and train routes. We can see that we have not yet reached this goal, but that is about to change. We carried out a high number of LTE upgrades this year. In 2019, we will continue to ramp up this massive expansion for the benefit of our customers.