Network expansion

Close all Expand all

Our approach to infrastructure rollout

 
 

Having access to state-of-the-art information technologies is a precondition for economic performance and participation in a knowledge and information society. That is why we are continuing to rapidly expand our infrastructure and improve transmission speeds with new, secure technology.

Demand for faster data services with full-coverage availability is growing continuously. In 2023, we invested more than EUR 16 billion Group-wide, primarily in building and operating networks. Around EUR 4.6 billion of this figure was earmarked for the Germany operating segment img alone. This is in addition to the investments that we make in acquiring mobile spectrum. Hence, the majority of the Group’s investment volume in Germany is for the build-out of broadband networks. This build-out is based on the goals of our Europe-wide integrated network strategy, which we use to help achieve the EU Commission’s network build-out targets and the Federal Government’s Digital Agenda and broadband strategy. The strategy is founded on the two pillars of building out mobile and fixed networks, with the focus of the former being on 5G coverage – the most powerful technology standard currently available.

Thanks to our investments, our customers are enjoying better network coverage and fast mobile broadband service. In mobile communications, we set ourselves apart from our competitors with the quality of our network that has been singled out for awards with independent network tests. Further information on our awards can be found here.

In the fixed network, we are focusing on rolling out our optical fiber to provide our customers with a reliable connection at gigabit speeds. With our FTTH img (fiber to the home) expansion, we are installing fiber-optic img 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 img they require. We have almost completed our FTTC img (fiber to the curb img) build-out in the fixed network in Germany. 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 over 2.5 million households per year.

As well as the pure fiber-optic lines, we are also offering other innovative products: for example, our hybrid router, which combines the transmission bandwidths of fixed-network and mobile communications, thus attaining higher transmission speeds – particularly in rural areas.

Our contribution to the SDGs

Print

Germany segment: progress with network build-out KPI

We continued to build out our network infrastructure in Germany throughout the reporting year. At the end of 2023, our 5G network covered 95.9 percent of the population, with over 80 000 antennas transmitting 5G across Germany. Around 10 000 of these antennas use the fast 5G spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band. Our rigorous focus on 5G will continue in 2024. In the year ahead, 5G standalone will also be made available for use by consumers. Our business customers already use this technology with functions like network slicing, e.g., for live TV broadcasts of media, or in 5G campus networks for industry and research.

In the fixed network build-out, optical fiber continued to take center stage. By the end of 2023, we had made more than 2.5 million more fiber-optic img lines available in Germany. In other words, we achieved our build-out target for the year, bringing the total number of households and businesses with the option to subscribe to a fiber-optic line to around 8 million.

In the reporting year, Deutsche Telekom established its own civil engineering company to ensure further acceleration of the network build-out. This move serves to address the pressing need for civil engineering capacities on the German market. The civil engineering company Deutsche Telekom Tiefbau GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telekom Deutschland and will focus on connecting homes.

In addition to its own build-out efforts, Deutsche Telekom also relies on partnerships as an important mainstay of the build-out. We have a total of around 40 partnerships in place on the joint construction, operation, or use of fiber-optic infrastructure. Alongside collaborating with regional partners (among other places in several districts in the Stuttgart region, in Upper Franconia and the Upper Palatinate, in Bavarian Swabia, and in North Hesse), we have also agreed framework conditions with organizations including the central association of the German housing industry for our fiber-optic build-out to properties managed by this sector. Furthermore, June 2023 marked the start of the implementation phase of the Saxon State Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs’ broadband access initiative to connect schools across Saxony to our fiber-optic network.

 

Indicators for telecommunications providers from the GSM Association (GSMA)

  • GSMA-INC-01 (Population Covered by Mobile Network)
Print

United States segment: progress with network build-out

As of the end of 2023, T‑Mobile US’ 5G network covered around 98 percent of the U.S. population, with over 300 million people benefiting from Ultra Capacity 5G (5G UC). T-Mobile US has thus hit its year-end target for 2023 for 5G UC coverage.

On September 12, 2023, T-Mobile US agreed with U.S. cable network operator Comcast to acquire spectrum licenses in the 600 MHz band in exchange for total cash consideration of between USD 1.2 billion and USD 3.3 billion. The transaction is expected to be closed in the first half of 2028.

 

Indicators for telecommunications providers from the GSM Association (GSMA)

  • GSMA-INC-01 (Population Covered by Mobile Network)
Print

Europe segment: progress with network build-out

In the countries of our Europe segment, too, we substantially intensified the network build-out in the reporting year. As of the end of 2023, our national companies covered on average 67.2 percent of the population in our European footprint with 5G, representing a significant increase year-on-year.

We also made particularly good progress with the build-out of our fixed network in our European national companies in 2023. At the end of 2023, a total of around 9.1 million households, which means around 1 million additional households compared with the prior year, had access to our fiber-optic img network offering gigabit speeds.

We continue to systematically execute on our strategy regarding the shared use of networks, and to this end, our national companies in Europe also agreed and finalized further partnerships on the fiber-optic build-out in the reporting year. Alpen Glasfaser, a cooperation between Magenta Telekom and Meridiam, started operations in Austria in March 2023. In Poland, T-Mobile Polska entered into an agreement with Vectra Group in the second half of 2023 on access to Vectra’s fiber-optic network, and announced it is establishing a cooperation with Polish Open Fiber that will give us access to their fiber-optic network.

 

Indicators for telecommunications providers from the GSM Association (GSMA)

  • GSMA-INC-01 (Population Covered by Mobile Network)
Print

Rollout of the new 5G mobile generation

 
 

With 5G, we are creating a highly reliable mobile network with extremely low latency and high data throughput. Over 80 000 antennas are now operating at the 5G standard in Germany. As of the end of 2023, over 10 000 of these antennas in more than 800 towns, cities, and communities were using the fast 5G spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band. By the end of 2023, 95.9 percent of the population of Germany was already covered by our 5G network. By the end of 2025, 5G is set to cover 90 percent of Germany, reaching 99 percent of the population. We additionally want to offer 5G standalone for consumers in 2024. Deutsche Telekom’s business customers already use this technology with features like network slicing, e.g., for live TV broadcasts or in 5G campus networks for industry and research. As of the end of 2023, our national companies covered on average 67.2 percent of the population in our European footprint with 5G. T-Mobile US’ 5G network covered around 98 percent of the U.S. population at the end of the reporting year, with over 300 million people benefiting from Ultra Capacity 5G.

Since 2022, Telekom Deutschland has been directing the 6G-TakeOff research project, which is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project is aimed at developing a consistent 6G architecture for communications networks, consisting of satellite access stations, airborne infrastructure platforms and satellites. A total of 22 industry and scientific partners are collaborating in the effort. The first 6G networks are expected to become operational in 2030.

 

Indicators for telecommunications providers from the GSM Association (GSMA)

  • GSMA-INC-01 (Population Covered by Mobile Network)
Print

Continuing expansion of the fiber-optic network

Deutsche Telekom’s fiber-optic img network is the largest in Europe, with a length of over 750 000 kilometers in Germany alone (as of December 2023). 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. Via our build-out tracker (only available in German) for Germany, we provide clear reports on our progress.

To expand the fiber-optic network, we are using FTTC img (fiber to the curb img) technology with super vectoring and are building out 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

 

Print

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 summit meetings place networks 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 img 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 mobile and fixed-line services cannot be quickly restored, our Disaster Recovery Management (DRM) (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.

In the interest of even faster network restoration following extreme events, Deutsche Telekom’s DRM team is working to provide a satellite-based mobile base station. Such a station would make it possible to establish a mobile network within just a few hours. This project is currently in its pilot phase in the lower Franconian city of Fuchsstadt. The first trials with the new system have been promising, and it seems as if it will indeed be possible in the future to restore service very quickly following extreme events.

 

Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)

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

benchmarking tool

Through our interactive benchmarking tool, important facts and figures of our national companies can be analysed and compared.

X
please rotate your device

Economy

  • Highlights

    At Deutsche Telekom, everything starts with

    the network. Having access to state-of-the-art

    technologies is a precondition for economic

    performance and participation in a

    knowledge and information society.

    At Deutsche Telekom, everything starts with the network. Having access to state-of-the-art technologies is a precondition for economic performance and participation in a knowledge and information society.

    That is why we are continuing to rapidly expand our infrastructure and improve transmission speeds with new, secure technology. We invested more than EUR 16 billion Group-wide in 2023, primarily in setting up and operating networks. This is in addition to the investments that we make in acquiring mobile spectrum.

    At Deutsche Telekom we put people front and center, especially our customers and our employees. Worldwide, Deutsche Telekom employees ensure that our networks run smoothly and our customers receive the best service. In this way, we made it into the top 10 of the world’s most valuable brands in 2023. When it comes to telecommunications companies, we occupy the number 1 spot worldwide, remaining Europe’s most valuable corporate brand.

    When rating agencies give high marks to our social and ecological commitment, the T-Share is included in the financial market’s sustainability indexes. In 2023, the T-Share was once again listed in indices such as the renowned CSA-based DJSI World and DJSI Europe.

    Further detailed examples of the progress we made in 2023 can be found in the subchapters – from the Group’s perspective and from that of our segments.

    Highlight numbers

    Highlight numbers

    Progress of selected KPIs in  2023

    • 2022 2023

    • Investments in building and operating networks Group-wide 21bn. 16bn.

    • Customer satisfaction TRI*M 75.0 points 76.2 points

    • Sustainable revenue share 42% 43%

    • Proportion of T-Shares held by investors with ESG criteria 31.3% 32%

    • Procurement volume verified as non-critical 64.1% 66.2%

    Topic overview

    Read more

    Find out more about the topic

    Economy in the topic specials

    Find out more about the topic Economy in the topic specials