Fixed-line & broadband technologies.
Data transport within the Internet infrastructure and individual use of the Internet both rely on a number of innovative technologies. Many people already use network-based solutions to organize their day-to-day lives conveniently and individually. That is why we are continuously striving to improve our offer of high-speed connections, both for fixed-line and mobile communications.
The DSL-based transmission protocols, ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL as well as the expansion of the fiber-optic infrastructure into our customers' homes (fiber to the home, FTTH) will cause ever higher data transmission rates in the fixed-line sector.
We are able to achieve similar increases in performance in the mobile communications area by switching from 2nd generation networks (2G ) with GSM and EDGE to third generation networks (3G ) with the UMTS-based standards HSDPA/HSUPA and HSPA+. With the switch to the Long Term Evolution (LTE) transmission standard of the future (also referred to as "4G"), data rates will increase many times over and reach broadband speeds.
(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
|max. 640 kbit/s||max. 6 Mbit/s|
(latest version of Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL))
|max. 2,4 Mbit/s||max. 16 Mbit/s|
(Very High Bit Rate Digital Subscriber Line)
|max. 10 Mbit/s||max. 50 Mbit/s|
|FTTH with GPON |
(Fiber to the Home)
|max. 100 Mbit/s||max. 200 Mbit/s|
(Wireless Local Area Network)
|max. 155 Mbit/s||max. 155 Mbit/s|
|Mobile communications technologies.|
|2G mobile communications||Upstream *|| |
|GSM plus EDGE |
(Global System for Mobile Communications EDGE)
|max. 220 kbit/s||max. 260 kbit/s|
|3G mobile communications||Upstream *||Downstream *|
(Universal Mobile Telecommunications System)
|max. 384 kbit/s||max. 384 kbit/s|
(High Speed Downlink/Uplink Packet Access/High Speed Uplink Packet Access)
|max. 5.8 Mbit/s||max. 14.4 Mbit/s|
(High Speed Downlink Packet Access+)
|max. 5.8 Mbit/s||max. 42.2 Mbit/s|
|4G mobile communications||Upstream *||Downstream *|
(Long Term Evolution)
|max. 50 Mbit/s||max. 100 Mbit/s|
* The maximum values listed here are based on theoretical assumptions. Upstream , downstream and data rates often fall below these values during actual use.
ADSL2+ (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line 2+) is the current DSL standard being used in Deutsche Telekom's fixed-line network. 23.5 million households had access to bandwidths of up to 16 Mbit/s based on ADSL2+ at the end of 2012.
In 2011 we began introducing MSAN (multi service access node) to integrate legacy systems into the all-IP network. It replaces the splitters that were previously used for network connection to separate voice and data and consequently enables the use of DSL lines with fully IP-based services as well as traditional phone services without the necessity to replace existing devices. By late 2012, 4,709 exchange areas had MSAN service. We will continue the migration process in 2013.
Optical fiber offers significant advantages over copper wires in long-distance and high-demand applications because of its much lower attenuation and interference. That is why Deutsche Telekom is gradually replacing copper wires with optical fibers in many of its networks—for example at Makedonski Telekom where replacing the copper network by a state-of-the-art fiber to the home (FTTH) network now means 14 percent of households in the country are already benefiting from the high-performance fiber-optic network.
In 2012 Crnogorski Telekom also continued to roll out of its fiber-optic network (fiber to the home or FTTH). By January 2013 the company had 3,777 FTTH and 181 FTTB (fiber to the basement) users.
Deutsche Telekom began expanding the high-speed DSL version, VDSL (Very High Bit Rate Digital Subscriber Line), with hybrid networks made of fiber optic and copper lines in 2006. The conventional copper lines are used to bridge the last few hundred meters to the home. That means 12.6 million households already have access to bandwidths of up to 50 Mbit/s (as of December 2012). Bandwidths of up to 16 Mbit/s are available in 7,800 out of around 7,900 exchange areas. Expansion is not possible in the remaining exchange areas due to technical or financial reasons. Almost 21.5 million households in Germany can receive triple-play products based on bandwidths of between 16 Mbit/s and 50 Mbit/s.
In early 2013, Telekom announced that it intended to include more companies in its VDSL marketing activities in addition to its current sales partners. The collaborations are based on the "contingent model", which gives partner companies a volume discount for VDSL connections in return for purchasing a certain minimum amount. Telekom is planning to expand this model to include fiber optic connections to the home as well as vectoring connections.
With VDSL , Telekom was able to considerably increase the speed of its DSL connections by more than three times the speed provided by ADSL and more than twice the speed provided by ADSL2+. That required a hybrid network with fiber-optic cables extending close to our customers' homes. However, conventional copper lines are used to cover the last 300 to 500 meters to the customer's home. These lines set a limit on data transmission speed. With the new VDSL vectoring technology, we can now reach high data transmission speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s.
Fiber optics is the fastest data transmission medium. One of our goals is to connect a large number of households directly to our high-speed fiber-optic network (FTTH). That is why Deutsche Telekom continues to expand its fiber-optics network, laying the foundation for the gigabit society. This network of the future will provide our customers in Germany with high-speed access of 200 Mbit/s (download speed, up to 100 Mbit/s upload speed) to the Internet, to Entertain offers and to multimedia applications—in one-of-a-kind quality and variety.
Investments by Telekom in new-fiber optic networks will be based on demand. Two requirements need to be met in the expansion areas before civil engineering works can start:
- At least 80 percent of residents need to give their permission to have their building connected or for cables to be laid in their building and
- At least ten percent of customers need to have preordered the service.
If these conditions are not met, the expansion will have to be postponed. At the same time, we are evaluating the feasibility of using other technologies, for example VDSL with vectoring.
The number of cities with 80 percent owner approval and 10 percent preorder rates increased by eight to a total of 20 in 2012. We are currently either expanding or getting ready to offer the FTTH network in these cities. FTTH expansion is planned for additional cities in 2013.
Requirements for FTTH connections met.
Since 2010, we have met the requirements for connecting a total of 340,000 households (homes passed) to the fiber-optic network by laying fiber-optic cables in residential streets. This includes expansion projects completed in collaborations with municipal utilities companies and other partners. More connections should be available by the end of the year.
Cooperation with housing businesses in North Rhine-Westphalia.
We are specifically looking to cooperate with the housing industry in our expansion activities. Homeowners who agree to the expansion can expect the value of their property to increase considerably as a result of FTTH connections. Deutsche Telekom embarked on a trend-setting ICT infrastructure collaboration with Deutsche Annington Immobilien AG (DAIG). The two partners gave the go-ahead for a fiber-optic connection of around 171,000 homes managed by DAIG in Germany in March 2011. In several steps, Deutsche Telekom will provide DAIG buildings at approximately 600 locations with high-speed broadband connection at competitive prices. During the first phase, we provided 42,000 DAIG apartments in North Rhine-Westphalia with access to the new network. Initially, our agreement with DAIG covers the provision of TV services via Telekom's cable connections. An additional FTTH expansion has been agreed for some of the properties and is scheduled to start in 2013.
In addition to FTTH expansion, Telekom is also driving fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) expansion based on hybrid networks that use fiber-optic and copper lines in order to be able to quickly extend broadband coverage. Thanks to VDSL vectoring, we can already achieve speeds of 100 Mbit/s in these access networks. Vectoring is a technology that was standardized in 2010. It considerably speeds up transmission through the copper cables that cover the final few meters to the customer. All of the signals being transferred in each cable bundle are controlled by a single device. We successfully launched the first VDSL vectoring pilot applications in 2012. However, the regulatory framework needs to be modified before we can introduce the technology because VDSL lines are usually used by several providers to provide their services. Control of these lines by a single network operator is not allowed at present. In late 2012, Telekom took the initiative and submitted an application regarding this situation to the German Federal Network Agency. The aim is to establish legal certainty for all market participants as soon as possible so that expansion can begin quickly. The regulatory authorities in Austria and Belgium, supported by the EU Commission, have already approved the use of vectoring.
Telekom has announced plans to invest several billion euros primarily in vectoring technology in its fixed-line network should the Federal Network Agency decide to approve the application. That would provide up to 24 million households in Germany with a faster Internet connection. We would be able to connect the first customers in 2014. The hardware needed in the process is ready to go to market. We are currently reviewing how to reduce the new systems' energy requirements. If everything goes as planned, Telekom will be able to provide 65 percent of households in Germany with VDSL vectoring via an FTTC infrastructure by 2016.
The Deutsche Telekom Group is striving to introduce state-of-the-art technologies for network operation. The fixed-line segment is another area where significant progress has been made, as the following examples show.
Hungary: modernizing with WASP.
Project WASP, a two-phase modernization project for Magyar Telekom's fixed ATM-based ADSL network, got under way in Hungary during 2012. This modernization process is being undertaken by means of broadband MSAN (multi-service access node) devices with VDSL2 cards. MSAN has been chosen because it is a future-proof technology capable of using VDSL (with backward compatibility with ADSL and ADSL2+), POTS cards, or even GPON cards in the future.
During the first WASP phase from 2012 to 2014, legacy DSLAM ports are being replaced with MSAN, using VDSL cards to improve VDSL coverage. The second phase from 2014-17 will involve the rollout of MSAN in copper-based areas with VDSL and POTS cards for legacy public switched telephone network (PSTN) migration in a service-driven way.
Hungary: moving forward with IP EDGE.
Rapidly increasing fixed and mobile aggregation traffic in Hungary necessitates an extension of the capacity of Magyar Telekom's IP network. The company's IP EDGE project served to modernize the IP network, meet additional capacity needs, simplify operations and enable the introduction of new services. Moreover, this technology has enabled Magyar Hungary to build a future-proof convergent fixed/mobile IP platform and at the same time reduce energy consumption.
Greece: Upgraded infrastructure for Aegean islands.
In Greece Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary OTE now offers even faster and steadier broadband connections to the Aegean islands. This was achieved by increasing the capacity of the backbone network by adding an extra 50 Gbps to specifically meet the islands' Internet needs. OTE's 1,885-km offshore network, which connects the Aegean islands to each other as well as to the rest of the company's backbone network, is based on state-of-the-art dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology and ring architecture, which ensures multiple alternative routings in case of damage to a cable.
ΟΤΕ VDSL : Ultra-high Internet speeds of up to 50 Mbps.
In Greece OTE is pioneering the commercial launch of new ultra-high Internet speeds of up to 50 Mbps through VDSL technology. This is transforming the daily Internet experience by offering users options such as faster file downloading, uninterrupted HD video streaming, easy connection of multiple devices and improved online gaming responsiveness.
Slovak Telekom increased the speed of fixed-line Internet for all its customers and stepped up the provision of copper and DSL lines by 9.4 percent. The various programs saw increases from 2 Mbps to 5 Mbps, from 3.5-6.5 Mbps to 10 Mbps, and from 12 Mbps to 20 Mbps. Internet speed was boosted automatically and free of charge for the customers, who were informed immediately afterwards.
We currently offer our customers in Germany and elsewhere diverse options for broadband Internet use. We operate stationary and mobile WLAN HotSpots, for example in public transport, for this purpose. People who use our HotSpotservice can conveniently access data and information at more than 11,000 locations in Germany, for example at 1,400 McDonald's restaurants, and at some 50,000 of our partner locations worldwide.
In 2012, Telekom in Germany also operated HotSpots at 5,100 public telestations, the multi-faceted successor of the traditional phone booth. We are planning to set up another 5,000 telestations by the end of 2014 to improve our WLAN coverage.
WLAN TO GO: Telekom customers will receive access to a quickly increasing number of HotSpots worldwide with the WLAN TO GO service, starting in the summer of 2013, which will include around eight million HotSpots. This offer will be made possible thanks to our new partnership with the largest WiFi network worldwide, Fon. We expect to create up to 2.5 million additional HotSpots in Germany alone by late 2016 thanks to this collaboration. We will be using a technology mix of wireless, fixed-line and WLAN, which will enable a seamless transition between these technologies. In terms of our integrated network expansion strategy, this technology mix has the advantage that WLAN and HotSpots enable high data traffic to be redirected to the fixed network, freeing up the mobile communications network.
WLAN TO GO is based on the concept of mutual sharing. As of June 2013, DSL customers will be able to share the unused capacities of their Internet connection with others. Participating customers will receive free access to several million WLAN HotSpots worldwide from other DSL users who have also decided to make their Internet connections available. With WLAN TO GO, customers can also surf online at all Telekom HotSpots in Germany free of charge. Telekom places high importance of data privacy and security with its WLAN TO GO service. Customers' home connections stay protected and they assume no liability. They can also continue to surf online at high speeds. Telekom is planning to expand its cooperation with Fon at other international subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary in 2013 as well.
Railnet: We offer our customers WLAN HotSpots in high-speed ICE trains on selected routes together with the German railway company Deutsche Bahn AG as part of our Railnet cooperation. And we continue to expand the offer. The plan is to equip all 255 of Deutsche Bahn's high-speed ICE trains and around 5,000 kilometers of railway line with WLAN HotSpots by late 2014. We will increasingly be using UMTS/HSPA and LTE technologies as well as Flash-OFDM . The Munich–Nuremburg, Wolfsburg–Berlin and Berlin–Hamburg routes were equipped with LTE by the end of 2012. A mixture of LTE and HSPA is being used between Frankfurt and Nuremberg, while HSPA is mainly be employed on the routes between Dortmund, Hanover and Wolfsburg as well as along the Mannheim–Basel connection.
Inflight connections: With our Inflight service, we make it possible for our customers to go online via HotSpots on board seven different airlines, including Lufthansa. The service is supported by satellite and made available in collaboration with our partner, Panasonic Avionics. We equipped 85 percent of the 106 machines in Lufthansa's intercontinental fleet with the technology by the end of 2012, which means the airline currently has the most HotSpots on planes. Our other customers, Gulf Air, Turkish Airlines, Transaero, Etihad and JAL only recently decided to offer the Inflight service, which means only a few of their planes currently feature the service. We were operating 114 HotSpots by the end of 2012 as part of the project. American Airlines, another significant flight service provider, jumped on board in January 2013 as well. They currently offer the service in three of their machines.