The whole world …

The news, the weather report, and the biggest dictionary in the world. All our favorite series, our entire music collection, and the contents of our bookshelf. Family photos and posts from our loved ones. Street maps from all over the world. What do all these things have in common? Thanks to the worldwide web, we have them with us all the time – no matter where we are.

... together online

Just a few years ago, this was all inconceivable. And today? Now, it’s hard for anyone to imagine anymore how everyday life once functioned without constant access to the internet. Today, (almost) all of us live, learn, and work on the web. At Deutsche Telekom, our aim is to make sure that everyone can #takepart. And the basis for that is fast and high-performance internet access. That’s why we invest billions each year in network expansion – in 2021, the figure was some 18 billion euros across the Group.

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We’re working hard on the network rollout in both the fixed and mobile networks. And we will live up to our responsibility for Germany’s digital future.

Timotheus Höttges, Chairman of the Board of Management, Deutsche Telekom AG

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We operate the largest fiber-optic network in Europe – with around 650 000 kilometers in Germany only (end of 2021).

Superfast fiber-optic cables

We aim to provide as many people as possible with fast internet lines – whether they live in cities or in rural areas. In the fixed network, we rely on fiber optics: we operate the largest fiber-optic network in Europe – with around 650 000 kilometers in Germany only (end of 2021).

This requires a lot of time and money – each kilometer of fiber-optic cable costs an average of 70 000 euros – To lay fiber optic cables faster and more economically, we use microtrenching img wherever possible: instead of laboriously digging up the streets with excavators, only narrow slits are sawed into the asphalt in the microtrenching process. Funding programs at the national or state level are a further possibility for cost-effective network expansion. Just like other companies, Deutsche Telekom also applies for such funding.
But connecting to the fiber-optic network is not economically viable everywhere. Our solution in such cases is a hybrid connection that combines the speed of a fixed network line with that of a fast mobile network connection to increase the broadband speed.

Through the air

We wish it were a thing of the dim and distant past – the mobile coverage gap. By the end of 2021, we were able to provide 99 percent of households in Germany with fast LTE – more than any other network provider. The remaining gaps are to be filled as quickly as possible. To achieve that, we aim to get more than 1 500 new cell sites up and running each year. That’s sometimes easier said than done, though, because building or legal regulations mean masts cannot be erected everywhere they are required. To close the final gaps in the mobile network, we are using various levers:

1
Sharing masts

To expand the network infrastructure more quickly and cost-effectively, we are sharing mobile masts with our competitors.

2
Seamlessly surfing on the train

In partnership with Deutschen Bahn, we want to close the coverage gaps in our mobile network along the rails of the entire DB rail network by 2026. As a result, train passengers will be able to make phone calls and surf the web without interruptions in the future.

3
Climate-neutral
network

In 2019, we set up a mobile mast for the first time in the Bavarian town of Dettelbach that uses carbon-neutral electricity from a fuel cell. Power supply is often a problem at remote locations. This solution will be able to help in the future to close mobile coverage gaps in a climate-friendly way.


As of the end of 2021, Telekom’s 5G network has been available for over 90 percent of German households – that’s 74 million people. T-Mobile US has likewise expanded its 5G network leadership, delivering 5G speeds to broad swaths of the United States with the largest national 5G network. At www.telekom.de/netzausbau, you can see where 5G is already available in Germany.

5G on its way

Up to 100 times faster than LTE? That’s 5G, the new mobile standard. 5G is the basis for many future concepts such as autonomous driving, smart cities, Industry 4.0, or virtual reality. That’s because they all require high-performance, fail-safe internet connections that enable data transmission in real time. To make Germany a 5G country as soon as possible, we have set ourselves a clear goal: We plan to cover 99 percent of the population and 90 percent of the country with 5G by 2025.

What we need for 5G

Rolling out a new technology over a wider area is always pioneering work. For us as a society to benefit from the advantages of the new technology as best we can, three things in particular are needed:

1
Infrastructure

We will continue to invest heavily in building out 5G infrastructure. To provide the best coverage in Germany, we currently use two frequencies for 5G. By the end of 2021, 5G was available on the fast, short-wave 3.6 GHz frequency in more than 140 cities. Furthermore, we use the longer wavelength 2.1 GHz frequency in rural areas, ensuring that the fast, shortwave and the long-range, longwave 5G frequencies optimally complement each other.

2
Safety

The applicable safety standards must be observed in order to be able to establish a technology in Germany. Our sites comply with the legally specified thresholds.

3
Collaboration

A mammoth task such as launching 5G cannot be done alone. That is why we are working closely with our partners and local municipalities. Together with research institutes, industry, and local municipalities, we also are trying out innovative application scenarios.

Vienna: The gigabit city

The Austrian national company Magenta Telekom is also driving forward network expansion at top speed: From 2018 to the end of 2021, it is investing around a billion euros to build and expand its mobile and fixed networks. Magenta Telekom provides gigabit speeds to 1.5 million households and businesses all across Austria, thereby making it the largest high-speed internet service provider in the country.


Achieving sustainability goals

We address the sustainability goals and report Deutsche Telekom’s commitment to achieving these goals in 2021. More information can be found here.

Internet
= future

In expanding our network, we are also helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs). Nationwide internet access is an important element in a sustainable infrastructure (SDG 9). It can help create new jobs, for instance, through more company start-ups (SDG 8). Network expansion also lays the foundation for many other positive effects, such as improved access to online educational offerings (SDG 4), more sustainable agriculture (SDG 15), and improved healthcare (SDG 3). The internet is also the basis for solutions that save energy and reduce CO2 (SDG 13) or improve life in cities (SDG 11). Furthermore, we help achieve SDG 13 with our “green network”. And our commitment to a network without hate and more civil courage online helps to create a more peaceful, lawful, and inclusive society (SDG 16).

Watching it live

In the past ten minutes, or about the amount of time you have spent reading this text – over 20 additional households in Germany have received the opportunity to order a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) fiber-optic access. How do we know that? We document almost in real time how our broadband expansion is progressing. You can see the total number of households now in a position to use a rate offering of up to 100 Mbits or more per second as well as the current rollout statistics per hour, per day, and per week for Germany at www.telekom.de/ausbauticker. When it comes to rapid network expansion, it’s quantity that matters the most. But, of course, the quality of the Deutsche Telekom network is also very important to us. For many years, we have regularly received awards for our network quality. In 2021, for instance, we were once again the winner in fixed network tests by “CHIP” and “Connect” magazines.

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