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  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Infrastructure expansion

A well-developed network infrastructure enables economic performance and participation in the knowledge and information society. As a result, demand for ever faster, full-coverage data services is immense. That is why we continue to rapidly expand our infrastructure and improve transmission speeds with new, secure technology.

Expanding our infrastructure

Our contribution to the SDGs

The amount of data transmitted worldwide is growing rapidly. A study conducted by the International Data Corporation concludes that the global data volume will rise from around 33 trillion gigabytes at present (2018) to 175 trillion gigabytes by 2025. Networks need to be continually expanded to be able to handle this volume.

We have been the largest investor in this area in Germany for years now and will continue to drive network expansion. The main objectives of our pan-European integrated network strategy (INS) form the basis for these activities: growth, efficiency and quality. We will continue to expand our networks, increase the efficiency of our systems and further strengthen our role as a leader in network quality. Our integrated network strategy is in line with the network expansion goals specified by the EU Commission and the German federal government (digital agenda and broadband strategy).

Deutsche Telekom’s integrated network strategy for Europe is based on the four pillars of LTE, fiber optics, VDSL img vectoring and hybrid. In addition to expanding the LTE mobile network, fiber-optic expansion is the focus of Deutsche Telekom’s INS for Germany. Moreover, we are in the process of implementing the new 5G standard, having demonstrated the first 5G data connection in Europe’s live network in Berlin in 2018.

Integrated network strategy

We even exceeded the targets we had set ourselves in Germany by 2018 for implementing our integrated network strategy: At present, about 98 percent of the population can use LTE (target 2020: 99 percent). Furthermore, 26.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, as can be followed in our online ticker.

Upgrading our network architecture
We intend to make our networks faster and more efficient. To do this, we are deactivating all analog public switched telephone network (PSTN) platforms that we no longer need and switching our entire telephone network to IP-based lines. 90 percent of the current technology was already replaced with IP img technology at the end of 2018.

We will rely on fiber optics when updating our network architecture in order to meet our customers’ demands for fast network connections. Using the fiber optic-based super vectoring technology speeds up download data transmission rates to up to 250 Mbit/s and up to 40 Mbit/s when it comes to upload transmission rates. These figures will rise even more in the future.

Irrespective of the expansion and renewal of our infrastructure, we aim to operate our networks in the most stable and failure-free manner possible. We thus ensure that the network is still available as normal even when major events like festivals or political summits are taking place. Our Disaster Recovery Management also takes effect in natural disasters like floods so that those affected can communicate again quickly.

New communications standard: preparations for 5G in full swing

The current LTE communications standard is the fourth generation standard (4G). LTE is continually developing and can so far fully meet the requirements of consumers for ever greater bandwidth. The new 5G communications standard will not only offer significantly improved network capacity and higher speeds, but also lower latencies, greater reliability and security, and improved network flexibility for customized solutions. As a result, 5G will enable a host of applications in industry and the logistics sector that are not yet even conceivable by today’s standards.

Eight-point program for 5G development
In October 2018, Deutsche Telekom presented an eight-point program for developing a 5G network infrastructure. The goal: In Germany, we plan to cover 99 percent of the population and 90 percent of the country with 5G by 2025.

The further expansion of LTE/LTE Advanced contributes to the future 5G infrastructure, because LTE is the basis for 5G and will remain an integral part of it. There will be no standalone version of 5G at the start. Instead, in line with the standardization and development plans, parts of the implementation of 5G will initially be mapped in LTE. Implementing 5G is an evolution: Thanks to a fiber optic connection, the S-RAN (Single Radio Access Network) modernization currently underway, and new services such as LTE 900 or 4x4 MIMO, the more than 27,000 mobile sites in Germany will be ready, if they are not already, for the new standard and able to map initial 5G applications.

Step one: 5G test field in Berlin
Since May 2018, the first 5G antennas in Europe to fully support the new communications standard have been operating under real conditions in Deutsche Telekom’s network in downtown Berlin. The antennas are part of a 5G test field in the heart of the capital.

They are based on the future 5G standard for the non-standalone version of mobile communications component 5G New Radio (5G NR) - in other words, 5G networks based on 4G core network infrastructures. The standard was approved by the international standardization body 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) in December 2017. 5G NR is ideally suited for 5G applications using the medium frequency band belowGHz, which supports a good mixture of key characteristics, including broad coverage, high multigigabit range data throughput and low latencies in the order of just a few milliseconds. The antennas in Berlin are currently using the 3.7 GHz range under a test license. The licenses and frequencies issued by Germany’s Federal Network Agency will provide the basis for the 5G spectrum system and related planning in Germany in 2019.

Testing applications
To allow innovative developers to test their ideas for 5G in Berlin under real-world conditions, Deutsche Telekom has launched the 5G prototype program together with its start-up incubator hubraum.

In a world first, the Hamburg Port Authority, Deutsche Telekom, and Nokia are testing new aspects of the 5G standard using various applications in real-world industrial conditions at the Port of Hamburg in Germany. The around 8,000-hectare site has been a test field for testing the industrial capability of the future technology since January 2018: the transmission of movement and environmental data in real time, reliable traffic light controls, and virtual reality applications. The field test allows us to develop new and innovative solutions for industry, and serves as a basis for defining other aspects of the 5G standard.

The field test was also made possible by a new 5G installation on the Hamburg television tower. It was installed as part of the EU research project “5G-MoNArch”. The aim of the project is to test concepts for the 5G mobile architecture in practice.

Continuing expansion of the fiber-optic network

Deutsche Telekom operates the largest fiber-optic network in Europe, covering a length of 500,000 kilometers in Germany alone. We are further expanding our fiber-optic network to keep pace with demand for higher bandwidths in the network. We use our online ticker to report on our progress.

To reach this goal, we are using FTTC img (fiber to the curb) technology and are expanding FTTH img (fiber to the home) as well. In the scope of the FTTC expansion, fiber optics are laid to the gray street cabinets on the curb. From there we can supply our customers with large bandwidths via existing infrastructure by means of super vectoring. With FTTH, the fiber-optic cables are taken right into the customer’s home.

  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

Super vectoring compensates for electromagnetic interference that arises between the copper lines on the way to the households. The technology allows for faster data transmission with speeds of up to 250 Mbit/s img. The technology for this is installed in the cable distribution box.

Continuing expansion of the LTE mobile network

The expansion of LTE mobile technology in the Deutsche Telekom network ensures more extensive reach and higher speeds. LTE network coverage had reached about 98 percent of the population in Germany and 97 percent in Europe by the end of 2018, putting our European national companies in line with their target coverage. 

Faster internet access on board

Together with satellite operator Inmarsat, we will provide airline passengers in Europe with even better internet access on airline flights. We are currently establishing the European Aviation Network (EAN) within the scope of a strategic partnership with additional partners. EAN is the first integrated solution worldwide that consists of a satellite and a complementary LTE-based ground network. Other partners are telecommunications company Nokia and aerospace specialist Thales.

Deutsche Telekom and Nokia completed the project’s ground network at the start of 2018: 300 antenna locations were installed and the network was connected. At the same time, Inmarsat and Thales completed the satellite test in orbit. Following successful flight tests, the EAN service is now functional.

Our first customer, airline group IAG, has equipped multiple airplanes with EAN hardware and performed an internal pilot project. The EAN service is slated to be commercially available for passengers starting in the spring of 2019. The Europe-wide introduction of EAN for the entire IAG fleet is planned for 2019.

Pan-European network (Pan-Net) is taking shape

To date, the European national companies have operated their own infrastructures and developed their services independently. The switch to IP img technology, however, will make it possible to develop new services together and share them across borders. We hope to tap into this potential by creating a pan-European network.

Individual services such as text messages, voicemails, and emails will be made available to all countries in the pan-European network as “product building blocks.” Our Pan-Net cloud will serve as the basis for this. Every national company can then use the building blocks to create an offer that suits their local market and customer requirements. We can also use this technology to offer new solutions throughout Europe within just a few days. Pan-Net build-out continued in 2018. To date, the network is already available for 45 million customers served by eleven national companies in Europe.

The Pan-Net cloud is an association of data centers distributed throughout Europe. These are located in Hungary, Poland, Greece, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany. Six data centers were added in 2018: two in Greece, two in Croatia, and one each in Hungary and Germany. 

Switch to IP technology advances

Thanks to IP img technology, phone calls are no longer transmitted via analog channels or using ISDN img technology but in the form of data packets over the secure Deutsche Telekom network, a method that has been the standard in online and mobile communications services for some time now. The switch to IP-based lines is the basis for faster internet connections and increasingly complex applications. We will thus meet the growing demands of our customers. At the same time, energy use with IP technology is considerably lower than with the network technology previously used. The switch therefore also helps us decrease our CO2 emissions.

In total, we have already switched 20.3 million lines to IP, two million of which are for business customers. In the other EU countries, we also increased the number of IP lines. In Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Slovakia and Hungary, all lines have already been switched to IP. In Greece, 74 percent of the lines are running on IP technology, and in Romania the figure is 47 percent.

Award for mobile network in Germany

Best Network 2019

Computer Bild (issue 25/2018)

Computer Bild voted Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network the best in Germany for 2019. With an overall score of 1.8, we headed the field of competitors.


Several first places in the 2018 Connect readers’ choice (issue 6/2018)

We are the best mobile network operator and the best fixed-network provider. This was once again the conclusion of the annual choice of the readers of the trade journal Connect. Our products and services also won additional prizes in the following categories:

Mobile network operators
Network operator prepaid cards
Fixed-network providers
German cloud services

Complete smart home systems
Email services

Bestes Netz

CHIP (issue 1/2019)

We came out on top in CHIP’s mobile network test and were voted best network.

Connect mobile network test (issue 1/2019)

We were also the overall winner of the 2019 Connect mobile network test, with a rating of “very good”. The testing examined the voice and connection quality during phone calls as well as data communication via mobile internet. The measurements were taken at various locations, such as cities and small towns as well as on trains.