The rapid network expansion of Telefónica Deutschland / O2 is making itself felt in a significantly better network quality and thus also in a strong increase in data usage by customers. The company's approximately 44 million customers are sending more and more mobile data through the nationwide O2 mobile network. This is mainly due to the increasing popularity of music and video streaming as well as sharing photos and videos on social media or via messaging apps such as WhatsApp. In the past six months alone, the O2 network transported around 1 billion gigabytes of data volume - an all-time high in Germany's mobile networks. This means that data usage in the O2 network has doubled in a period of only two years.
O2 has started the 5G expansion turbo: In the O2 5G network, almost 2,000 5G antennas in around 80 cities are already transmitting on the high-performance 3.6 GHz frequency specially designated for 5G. O2 customers thus receive higher speeds, additional network capacities and thus an optimal network experience overall. Telefónica Deutschland CEO Markus Haas talked about the current progress of the network expansion offensive and the benefits of 5G for consumers and the economy on the occasion of a "5G theme day" with the news channel ntv (ntv Telebörse on July 2, 9 a.m.). The special feature: For the first time, the interview was broadcasted in real time to the ntv studio via O2's own 5G network in Munich.
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 starts the future of mobile gaming: for the first time, the provider has brought modern virtual reality (VR) games to life via its new O2 5G standalone live mobile network. During the premiere in Munich, O2 showed the game Half Life Alyx, which was named VR Game of the Year 2020 several times. Here, O2 is working with its partners Ericsson and NVIDIA. Compared to normal computer games, which are shown on a monitor or smartphone display, virtual reality gaming uses VR glasses to immerse players in an interactive 3D environment in which they can look around and move freely. Mobile virtual reality gaming is therefore considered a very demanding digital application that requires extremely short latencies, fast data throughput rates, and very high reliability, which de facto only 5G Standalone can offer in mobile communications. This is the final expansion stage of the mobile communications standard, in which 5G operates completely decoupled from the existing 4G standard.
The O2 brand is expanding the range of its 5G-capable mobile tariffs. From July 6, all new and existing customers will be able to use the latest mobile communications standard with any of the O2 Free Unlimited tariffs or a volume tariff from the O2 Free M onwards. This means that 5G tariffs are available from O2 from €29.99 per month. When taking out a new contract for one of these tariffs, 5G will automatically be included for O2 customers, existing customers can book the free "5G access" package1.
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.
Starting 1 July, Telefónica Deutschland / O2 will begin the large-scale shutdown of its 3G network. The resources previously required for 3G will make way for the significantly more powerful 4G network by the end of the year. To this end, the telecommunications provider will use the frequencies of the currently around 16,000 3G transmitters on 2,100 MHz for 4G in the future. O2 customers as well as customers of Telefónica Deutschland's other own and partner brands will thus benefit from an even better network experience. Compared to 3G, 4G offers customers additional network capacities, higher surfing speeds and significantly shorter response times for mobile data usage. For all O2 customers still using a device limited to 3G, O2 is providing attractive offers for new devices.
Telefónica Deutschland and 1&1 Drillisch have agreed upon the long-term stipulations of their future cooperation in a National Roaming Agreement (NRA) and signed a corresponding contract on 21 May 2021. With the conclusion of the NRA and as part of the overall agreement, the remaining ongoing price reviews initiated by 1&1 Drillisch will no longer be pursued.
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 was the first network operator in Germany to bundle several mobile frequencies in its 5G network at the innovation site in Munich back in April. This accelerates 5G for O2 customers and ensures a stable high data throughput. With the combination of two frequency bands, the 5G data highway between the customer and the mobile communications system thus gets about twice as many lanes as before.
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 is continuing its own network expansion offensive in 2021 - with a much stronger focus on 5G and the technological transformation of the network. Following the largest 4G network expansion program in the company's history with over 11,000 new 4G transmitters in the previous year, O2 is now igniting the 5G expansion turbo. In addition, as a pioneer, O2 is focusing on technological innovations such as 5G carrier aggregation, 5G standalone, Open RAN and exciting 5G industry solutions via the cloud this year.
Wayra Germany, the Innovation Hub of Telefónica / O2, opens up access to state-of-the-art technology for startups to develop new 5G-based applications with its unique 5G Tech Lab | Telefónica / O2 has built the first 5G standalone network in Munich for this purpose | 5G network uses 3.7 GHz frequencies with 100 MHz bandwidth, which Telefónica / O2 acquired from the Federal Network Agency for the operation of a local campus network | Kick-off for startups: Unmanned Life, Eyecandylab, Haltian and YBVR present 5G applications such as mobile gaming, augmented reality and autonomous drones
Today, 1&1 Drillisch has bindingly accepted Telefónica Deutschland's National Roaming offer dated 5 February 2021. The companies are extending their long-term partnership by converting the current MBA MVNO contract into a National Roaming Agreement (NRA) under the remedy framework from the Telefónica Deutschland and E-Plus merger in 2014. Now, the parties are aiming to finalise the contractual details of the NRA by mid-May 2021.
In the competition for the best technologies and products, the following applies: The provider with the highest quality and the fastest product launch times (time-to-market) has a clear advantage. Telefónica Deutschland / O2 wants to significantly accelerate this process in the future and more than halve the time needed to launch new applications and products. To achieve this, the company is focusing on a fundamental transformation of its IT landscape by 2023. A leaner IT architecture with more efficient processes based on state-of-the-art technologies such as cloud solutions will enable the provider to drive innovation even faster in the future and reduce operating costs.
Telefónica Deutschland / O2 implemented the fastest and also most extensive network expansion in its corporate history last year. With more than 11,000 new 4G elements, O2 significantly expanded its 4G network and met the nationwide requirement of the Federal Network Agency to cover 98 percent of all households. Despite the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic, the coverage target of at least 97 percent of all households in each of the 16 German states was also met, as was the requirement for transport routes as far as actually and legally possible. In parallel, the company launched 5G and set the course for the digital future with innovations such as the first OpenRAN stations on the network.