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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

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.

... in one network

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. Anyone still offline runs the risk of being left behind in our digital society. 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 2019, the figure was some EUR 13 billion across the Group. In Germany, we have been the largest investor in this area for years.


“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


Covering some 550,000 kilometers (end of 2019), we operate the largest fiber-optic network in Europe.

Superfast cable

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: Covering some 550,000 kilometers (end of 2019), we operate the largest fiber-optic network in Europe. Depending on the technology, the cables are taken right into the home (fiber to the home) or as far as the gray street cabinets on the curb (fiber to the curb) img .

This requires a lot of time and money – each kilometer of fiber-optic cable costs an average of 70,000 euros – so connection 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 DSL line with that of an LTE-based mobile access to increase the broadband speed. Funding programs at national or state level are a further possibility for cost-effective expansion. Just like other companies, Deutsche Telekom also applies for such funding. A new cable-laying method called trenching img has the potential to make the build-out both faster and less expensive. We are currently in dialog with city and municipal authorities to ascertain where this method could be used.

Through the air

We wish it would have disappeared long ago: the dead spot. By the end of 2019, we were able to provide 98 percent of the population in Germany with fast LTE – more than any other network provider. The remaining two percent will follow as soon as possible. To achieve that, we aim to build more than 2,000 new mobile sites 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 dead spots in the network, we are using various levers:

Sharing masts

In order to expand the network infrastructure faster and more cost-effectively, we are sharing mobile masts with our competitors. In 2019, together with Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone, we announced that we would jointly set up and use up to 6,000 new mobile sites.

Hunting down dead zones

In 2019, we launched the “Hunting down dead hones” campaign, which allowed municipalities with an LTE dead spot to apply for one of 50 new mobile masts. This required, among other things, a decision by the local council and a suitable location. The masts are to be set up by the end of 2020.

Climate neutral

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 dead spots in a climate-friendly way.


The 20 largest cities in Germany will be connected to Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network by the end of 2020. At you can see where 5G is already available.

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 quickly as possible, three things in particular are needed:


For 5G, we are initially using 4G locations. You could say that 5G is “piggybacking” on LTE. But to do this, the existing infrastructure needs an upgrade - from replacing old components to switching to new system technology.


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.


A mammoth task such as launching 5G cannot be done alone. That is why we are working closely with other network providers, and together with research institutes, industry and local municipalities, we 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. Between May and December 2019, Magenta Telekom gave more than a million households in Vienna the opportunity to bring their internet connection up to gigabit speeds. In terms of broadband Internet, Vienna is one of the best-connected cities in the EU.


In the issue "One for all, and all for one", we look at the sustainability goals of Deutsche Telekom and its commitment to achieving them. More information here

= future

We use the internet to keep in touch with friends and family, to shop and to obtain information. We use apps to control our home, communicate with authorities and doctors, book train tickets and look for parking spots. Stable internet access is important for each one of us – but it is also a critical factor for the future viability of entire regions. In expanding our network, we are therefore 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).

Watching it live

We have connected 230 new households in Germany to our broadband fiber optic network since you started reading this text about ten minutes ago. 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 100 Mbits or more per second as well as the current rollout statistics per hour, per day and per week at 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 2019, we were once again the overall winner in tests by Computer Bild, CHIP and Connect magazines.