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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 2020, we provided almost 99 percent of households with LTE coverage. We will also continuously improve the coverage of traffic routes with bandwidths of 100 Mbit/s img or 50 Mbit/s. At the same time, we began rolling out the new 5G mobile generation across the whole of Germany. 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) build-out 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. Over the coming years, we will extend our FTTH expansion to reach an average of two million households each year.

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 2020, for example, we were already providing approximately 98.7 percent of households in Germany with LTE coverage and 98 percent in Europe.

Furthermore, more than 33 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.

You can find information on 5G expansion here.

a) From 2017, adjusted calculation method according to BNetzA definition.

Updating and stabilizing the network architecture

The migration of German fixed-network lines to Internet Protocol (IP img) technology was completed by the end of 2020. A total of around 25.3 million fixed network customers now use IP-based lines.

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 the event of natural disasters such as floods, our Disaster Recovery Management team ensures those affected can quickly start communicating again via the network.

Rollout of the new 5G mobile generation

We vigorously drove expansion of the new 5G mobile generation in 2020: Deutsche Telekom upgraded 000 antennas with 5G between January and December 2020. Residents in more than 4,700 cities and communities are already benefiting from this. Most of the antennas transmit on the 2.1 GHz frequency, both in large cities and in smaller communities and rural areas. And since the end of 2020, 5G is being transmitted on the 3.6 GHz frequency in 26 cities. That means Deutsche Telekom is providing particularly fast high-speed 5G in places where many people live in a confined area. There are more than 1,000 antennas operating on this frequency. They are also in use in places such as the Allianz Arena in Munich and Frankfurt Airport. Overall, more than two thirds of the German population can already use 5G in Deutsche Telekom’s network.

And Deutsche Telekom will continue the 5G expansion in 2021. By the end of 2021, the overall goal is to provide some 80 percent of people in Germany with 5G coverage. At the same time, all 3G sites will be upgraded to modern and faster 5G stations by the middle of the year. LTE will be used at the few sites where this is not technically possible.

Continuing expansion of the fiber-optic network

The Deutsche Telekom fiber-optic network is the largest in Europe, covering a length of around 575,000 kilometers in Germany alone. 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 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