Milestone in 5G network rollout:Telefónica / O2 puts 1,500th 5G antenna on 3.6 GHz live into the network

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Markus Haas
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 put its 1,500th 5G antenna into operation in the O2 network. The company has thus achieved an important intermediate step in its ambitious 5G network expansion program. All 1,500 5G antennas in the O2 network transmit over the powerful 3.6 GHz frequency, which already offers O2 customers in 60 cities particularly high data transmission rates, extremely short response times and thus an optimal network experience. Exactly two years ago, the telecommunications provider purchased the frequencies at auction from the German Federal Network Agency. Now Telefónica Deutschland / O2 is expanding its network across Germany with these frequencies on a prioritized basis. This year, the company will further accelerate its 5G rollout and provide more and more cities and regions with 5G. "With the data turbo 5G, we are leading our country, the economy and consumers into the digital future. We are offering our O2 private and business customers an even more powerful network, we are building smart factories and campus networks as a partner to the industry, and we are also offering completely new connectivity solutions - for example for connectivity in cities or along roads," says Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland / O2. "Every second smartphone we currently sell is already 5G-enabled. Combined with our fast-growing 5G network, 5G data usage will receive a massive boost in the coming months. Our country is facing an exciting digital future. As a driver of digitalization, we are committed to making it sustainable and accessible to all."

O2 5G network live in over 60 cities

Credits: Telefónica Deutschland
O2 will launch its 5G network in October 2021.
O2 launched its 5G network in the five largest German cities in October 2020. A lot has happened since then: today, 5G is already live in over 60 cities in the O2 network. The 1,500th 5G antenna recently went live in Bielefeld. By the end of 2021, O2 aims to cover more than 30 percent of the population with 5G, and the whole of Germany by 2025. For the further 5G rollout, Telefónica Deutschland / O2 will also deploy new, longer-range frequencies in the coming months to increasingly cover rural regions with 5G. This includes 5G on 700 MHz as well as the deployment of Dynamic Spectrum Sharing technology (DSS), which combines 4G and 5G. The provider can expand this technology via software updates. In turn, building new 5G sites on 3.6 GHz requires a complete upgrade of the mobile site to the latest mobile technologies and antennas.

5G core network enables new networking solutions

The new 5G antennas at 3.6 GHz not only offer O2 customers the greatest possible capacities, short latency times and high speeds. They can also fully exploit their advantages in O2's 5G standalone network, for example to implement new networking solutions and digital applications such as mobile gaming or virtual/augmented reality. Telefónica Deutschland / O2 has already successfully put 5G standalone technology into operation. The first new core network is transmitting at the telecommunications provider's Munich data center. In the coming weeks, the focus will be on implementing the new 5G core network in additional company-owned data centers throughout Germany. The company will offer commercial deals for O2 customers as soon as 5G Standalone brings real benefits to the mass market.