Over 20,000 4G cellular sites:O2 network expansion offensive makes great progress

Credits: Telefónica Deutschland
Markus Haas
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 has broken the 20,000 mark for 4G coverage of mobile phone sites with its current network expansion offensive. Since the beginning of the year, the network operator has set up around 4,000 4G stations to provide numerous towns and districts with mobile O2 high-speed networks for the first time. In addition, more than 2,000 additional 4G stations are in operation at existing locations to provide more capacity and higher surfing speeds for mobile data use. Thus, O2 network engineers have improved the 4G mobile coverage for over 5.5 million people in the O2 network since the beginning of the year. The 4G mobile communications standard enables O2 customers to use all digital applications even when they are on the move. "We are expanding our O2 network at high speed and thus ensuring a massive digitalization push in Germany. More than 20,000 mobile phone locations of our network currently use 4G. This means we have increased the number by a quarter since the beginning of the year. Our expansion program is making huge progress so that we can provide our more than 43 million customers nationwide with an ever better O2 network for their digital applications", says Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland / O2.

Noticeably better 4G coverage in all federal states

O2 has massively expanded in rural areas
O2 network technicians have put new 4G stations into operation in all federal states in the past months to improve the nationwide mobile phone coverage for O2 customers. In doing so, they are not only focusing on large and small cities, but above all on previously underserved regions in Germany. These include new 4G stations in Lower Bavaria, the Uckermark, the Odenwald, the Westerwaldkreis, the Southwest Palatinate, the Harz and Lusatia. The O2 network has also improved significantly in tourist regions on the North Sea and Baltic Sea (Poel Island, Amrum, Spiekeroog, etc.), in the Eifel (Gerolstein, etc.), in the Black Forest (Triberg, etc.) and in the Bavarian Alps (Füssen, etc.) as a result of the recent expansion offensive. Whether social media, music or video streaming: The extensive network expansion measures lead to a significantly better network experience in the daily data usage of O2 customers. The continuously growing 4G network is important because over 90 percent of all mobile data runs over this network infrastructure. 4G will remain the backbone of the mobile network in the coming years. Independent network tests confirm that the quality of the O2 network is constantly improving. In the network test conducted by the trade journal connect, O2 was recently able to improve by one grade each year - from a grade of "sufficient" (553 points) in 2017 to "satisfactory" (680 points) in 2018 to a grade of "good" (758 points) in 2019. This success is a result of the focused network expansion of Telefónica Germany / O2.

O2 network expansion continues to pick up speed

By the end of the year, Telefónica Germany / O2 aims to build or upgrade a total of at least 7,600 4G stations with a high coverage area - for a better network experience as well as to meet the applicable coverage requirements. In recent months, O2 network engineers have already increased the speed of expansion from an initial 50 new 4G stations per week to around 250 per week and intend to maintain this pace in the coming months. At the same time, the new mobile phone standard 5G is immediately in the starting blocks: O2 customers can look forward to the launch of the new O2 5G network in the five largest German cities in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Progress in the NRW mobile communications pact and fulfilled coverage requirement

On September 3, North Rhine-Westphalia's Digital Minister Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart and representatives of the network operators presented the progress made after two years of the NRW Mobile Communications Pact. Conclusion: Network expansion has made enormous progress in recent years, making North Rhine-Westphalia the best supplied state in Germany. In July 2020, Telefónica Deutschland / O2 achieved the expansion targets set by the Federal Network Agency in the most populous federal state and currently supplies over 98 percent of the NRW population with 4G. The O2 network thus provides reliable, fast mobile services to 17 million citizens. Since the introduction of the NRW Mobile Pact - a showcase model for the cooperation between politics, administration and network operators - Telefónica Germany / O2 in North Rhine-Westphalia has converted more than 2,000 stations to 4G for improved coverage and higher surfing speeds and has expanded 4G capacities for another 2,000.

Mobile Communications Summit of Federal Minister Scheuer with sensible expansion funding

Credits: Telefónica Deutschland
Mobile Communications Summit in June 2020
At today's state press conference in the Bavarian parliament, Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer will present the progress made in important infrastructure projects such as the expansion of mobile communications. With the mobile radio summits, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the network operators have set the course for improved, coordinated network expansion in Germany over the past two years. With the funding program of 1.1 billion euros, white spots can be closed and thus mobile communications coverage in sparsely populated regions improved. The BMVI is also actively working to significantly shorten the deadlines for approval procedures for the construction of new mobile communications sites, so that in future all necessary application procedures will be decided within three months if possible. Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Germany / O2, explained the massive expansion progress in Bavaria on the occasion of the appointment: "Since the beginning of the year alone, we have put some 800 new 4G transmitters into operation in all districts and towns in Bavaria, thus providing 1.3 million inhabitants with the fast mobile communications standard for the first time. Our network expansion is continuing at full speed. We are confident that we will install around 700 more 4G transmitters in Bavaria this year in order to increase the network quality for our customers and to meet the current supply requirements". The border coordination procedure revised in 2019 by BMVI and BNetzA also enabled Telefónica Deutschland / O2 to increase the transmission power of its 4G antennas at around 250 locations, thus improving coverage for over 100,000 households in border regions throughout Germany at a stroke. In addition, the company has since been able to push ahead with its 4G expansion in a more targeted manner at the borders as well.