O2 launches rural LTE network pilot

-Pilot networks in Teutschenthal near Halle and Ebersberg near Munich
-Friendly user trials for O2 customers from December
-2011 rollout: up to 1,500 LTE locations planned
-Commercial offers starting in 2011
MUNICH. Telefónica O2 Germany is starting the next stage in developing LTE (Long Term Evolution), the new mobile network technology. After urban pilot networks went into operation in Munich in early September, more are now being installed in rural communities. In Teutschenthal near Halle and Ebersberg near Munich, the first LTE pilot networks with frequencies of 800 megahertz will be switched on in November. The first O2 customers will be able to try out the new broadband network a month later and in 2011 construction and commercialisation of LTE will begin across Germany.
"Friendly user trials will begin in December when selected O2 customers will be able to use the LTE pilot networks," says CEO René Schuster. "In 2011 we will then supply up to 1,500 locations with LTE and will initiate the commercial use." In rural areas O2 uses frequencies of 800 megahertz originating from digital dividend. With the new LTE technology, O2 will play a significant role in covering every inch of the countryside and supplying broadband throughout Germany. People interested in LTE can register on a special website that went online in the last few weeks. At www.o2online.de/goto/lte, O2 explains the new technology, provides information about network construction and demonstrates the advantages of LTE (in German). Private users, freelancers, the self-employed and business customers can register on the website and be the first to find out when LTE will be available in their area. "Telefónica is a global leader in LTE with trials well advanced in six countries in Europe and Latin America," said Matthew Key, Chairman and CEO of Telefónica Europe. "Germany is a key market for LTE where we have successfully tested this next generation technology and will soon start friendly user tests with customers in network pilots at both urban and rural locations."
Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG belongs to Telefónica Europe and is part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The Company offers its German private and business customers postpaid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS and UMTS technologies. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. Telefónica Europe has about 55 million mobile and fixed network customers in Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.