Telefónica Deutschland to start integrating O2 and E-Plus networks in January 2016

-Creation of consolidated network with optimal distribution of transmitter sites
-Customers will benefit from combined strength of O2 and E-Plus network infrastructure
-Network integration to begin with GSM and UMTS – joint LTE from mid-2016
-Telefónica starts planned realization of large-scale synergies in the network
January 2016 will see Telefónica Deutschland begin its Germany-wide consolidation of the UMTS and GSM networks of O2 and E-Plus, as the company presses ahead with a pivotal project on its way to becoming the leading digital telco. In parallel, the company continues to rapidly expand its LTE network and also plans to enable joint LTE use from mid-2016. Customers will thus benefit from even better network coverage, which combines the strengths of the O2 network in LTE with those of the E-Plus network in UMTS.
“As a leading digital telecoms company, we want to provide our customers with the best network experience. Following the successful introduction of national roaming, the integration of the mobile networks is the next key step on the road to even better and denser network coverage. We’re talking about a major technical project that’s unique in Europe and will contribute as expected to the synergies we have promised the market,” says Markus Haas, Chief Operating Officer of Telefónica Deutschland. The network integration in 2016 will focus on the densely populated urban areas, so that as many customers as possible can benefit swiftly from the improved performance of the joint network. In the first year of the network integration, Telefónica Deutschland already aims to reach more than 60 percent of the population with its new, integrated network. The network integration is expected to take five years to complete.
Telefónica Deutschland is beginning the technical integration of the UMTS and GSM networks after an intensive phase of planning and testing, which meticulously paved the way for the challenging large-scale project. For the combined network, the team selected the best transmitter sites with the optimal geographical distribution. State-of-the-art network equipment will be used to considerably increase their capacities, giving the company an extremely powerful and at the same time highly efficient network. The consolidation has been planned so that there will be as little service disruption as possible for the customers during the technical work in each area. In the last few months, the first localised test runs delivered important findings for the further preparation of the integration. Telefónica Deutschland is able to convert individual transmitter stations within a few hours and fully implement the network merger in a given area within a week. In an initial step in May 2015, Telefónica Deutschland activated national roaming in the UMTS networks for all O2 and E-Plus customers. Via the E-Plus infrastructure, the company already offers “the best UMTS network in Germany” (Computer BILD network test 10/2015). And it’s not just in urban areas that customers benefit from the densest UMTS network infrastructure. The user experience with mobile data services also improved in areas where customers previously had no LTE coverage. In parallel, the company continues to rapidly expand its LTE network and also plans to enable joint LTE use from mid-2016.