Our approach to infrastructural expansion

Our contribution to the SDGs

Deutsche Telekom is Germany’s largest investor when it comes to expansion of the network infrastructure. We are continuously expanding our networks, increasing the efficiency of our network systems and further strengthening our role as a leader in network quality.

We follow the coverage requirements of Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA, Federal Network Agency) in expanding the mobile network. By the end of 2021, we provided almost 99 percent of households with LTE coverage. In addition, we have been providing broadband service, with bandwidth of 50 or 100 Mbps, along more and more traffic routes. Already, over 90 percent of people in Germany now have access to Deutsche Telekom's fast, new 5G mobile network. Our goal: By the end of 2025, we will provide 5G coverage to 99 percent of the population.

We have almost completed our FTTC img (fiber to the curb) expansion in the fixed network. With our FTTH img (fiber to the home) expansion, we are installing fiber-optic connections directly in customers’ homes. Our aim is to close gaps in the network in rural areas and provide urban centers with the high bandwidth they require. We want to continue this rollout efficiently and, to this end, are also participating in funding programs. In the coming years, we expect to provide FTTH to an additional 2.5 million households, on average, per year.

More information on network expansion can be found in our Annual Report.

Reporting against standards


Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

  • GRI 203-1 (Indirect Economic Impacts)

Progress in network expansion KPI

Part of our network strategy is to also systematically build out our mobile networks with 4G/LTE technology to increase transmission rates in all national companies. Thanks to investments in our 4G/LTE network, our customers enjoy better network coverage with fast mobile broadband. In 2021, for example, we were already providing LTE coverage to approximately 99 percent of households in Germany and more than 98 percent in Europe. We slightly missed the target of achieving 99 percent LTE coverage in Europe by 2021 with a value of 98.2 percent and instead continued to drive forward the further development of our networks with 5G and FTTH img.

Furthermore, more than 34.5 million households in Germany can already order a rate with up to 100 Mbit/s img on our fixed network. This figure keeps growing daily. Our progress can be followed in our online expansion tracker (only available in German).

Information on 5G expansion is available here.

Updating and stabilizing the network architecture

The fundamental aim is to operate our networks in the most stable and failure-free manner possible. Major events such as festivals and summits place the network under particular strain. We make sure, however, that voice calls and data are still transmitted in the quality our customers have come to expect by temporarily setting up extra mobile masts or laying additional fiber-optic cables.

In emergency situations, it is especially important for networks to function properly, so that emergency calls can be made and responses organized. In emergencies, such as floods or large fires, in which network equipment is damaged to the point that normal recovery processes are unable to quickly restore cellular and fixed-line service, our Disaster Recovery Management (only available in German) comes into play. It operates mobile containers with communications equipment that can quickly stand in for disrupted cellular and fixed-line service.

The disastrous floods of July 2021 damaged large portions of the telecommunications infrastructure in Germany. An interdepartmental task force was established to manage the restoration effort. The team was able to quickly restore operations at 180 of the 300 cellular base stations that had suffered flood damage. A total of 120 base stations had suffered major damage, however, and wireless service for 250 000 people was temporarily disrupted. Cellular capacities were then increased using mobile masts and special antennas fitted to existing masts. As a result of these efforts, cellular service was completely restored in the flood-damaged areas within the space of only a week. In addition, some 97 percent of the 103 000 fixed network accesses that had been destroyed were repaired by the end of the year. As a stopgap measure, we provide affected customers with free LTE or hybrid routers, along with unlimited data allowances for calling and internet usage.

In the hardest-hit regions, existing copper-wire accesses that had been damaged or destroyed are not being restored; instead, they are being replaced with fiber-to-the-home (FTTH img) fiber-optic accesses. As part of these efforts, we plan to install some 40 000 new fiber-optic accesses in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. In January 2022, we began this fiber-optic expansion in the cities of Dernau, Mayschoss, and Rech. In 2022, an additional 25 000 FTTH accesses will be added.

Reporting against standards


Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

  • TC-TL-550a.2 (Managing Systemic Risks from Technology Disruptions)

Rollout of the new 5G mobile generation

A total of 63 000 antennas are now operating at the 5G standard in Deutsche Telekom’s network (as of December 2021). As of the end of 2021 this new mobile communications standard was available to over 90 percent of all households in Germany. Most of the antennas transmit on the 2.1 GHz frequency, both in large cities and in smaller communities and rural areas.

5G on the fast 3.6 GHz frequency band is available in more than 140 cities (as of December 2021). 3 600 antennas are now in place, at a total of over200 locations. As a result, more and more people are now able to enjoy high-speed 5G service.

Deutsche Telekom decommissioned its 3G img network in Germany in 2021. The frequencies that have become available as a result are now being used for 5G and LTE service. In other words, more bandwidth is now available for these two newer, and considerably more powerful, technologies.

Continuing expansion of the fiber-optic network

Deutsche Telekom’s fiber-optic network is the largest in Europe, with a length of over 650 000 kilometers in Germany alone (as of December 2021). As global data traffic continues to grow rapidly, we are continuing to expand our fiber-optic network. To do this as quickly and efficiently as possible, we use planning software and modern deployment methods such as trenching. We use our expansion tracker for Germany (only available in German) to illustrate our progress.

To expand the fiber-optic network, we are using FTTC img (fiber to the curb) technology with super vectoring and are expanding FTTH img (fiber to the home) as well.

  DSL img 16000 FTTC with super vectoring FTTH
Download up to 16 Mbit/s up to  250 Mbit/s up to  1,000 Mbit/s
Upload up to 2.4 Mbit/s up to  40 Mbit/s up to  500 Mbit/s


Number of fixed network customers KPI

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