More than 6,700 additional LTE stations in 2018:

Telefónica Deutschland supplies millions of people with LTE for the first time

Cayetano Carbajo Martin
Telefónica Deutschland massively expanded its LTE network in all German states in 2018. In total, the company expanded the O2 network with more than 6,700 additional LTE stations throughout Germany. Telefónica Deutschland has thus enabled millions of people, even in rural areas, to use mobile high-speed Internet and modern digital applications and to make calls with top sound quality thanks to Voice over LTE (VoLTE). Altogether, the region supplied with LTE for the first time in 2018 is larger than Lower Saxony, Germany’s second-largest state. At the same time, Telefónica Deutschland considerably upgraded the capacity of its LTE network in light of customers’ increasing use of mobile data. Over the course of the entire year, the company performed over 120 LTE upgrades per week – at record-breaking times before Christmas, there were more than 300 LTE upgrades within a week. The LTE expansion in 2018 was carried out parallel to the network integration of O2 and E-Plus, which has been successfully completed in the meantime. Therefore, Telefónica Deutschland can now fully concentrate its available capacities on further network expansion. “The LTE expansion gives our network considerably more speed, more capacity and tangibly better quality,” says Cayetano Carbajo Martín, Management Board member and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Telefónica Deutschland. “To achieve this, we implemented an LTE expansion program on an unparalleled scale in 2018. However, we will not stop there. This year, we will significantly increase the scope and speed once again so that everyone can benefit from our fast network and fully exploit the manifold opportunities of digitalization – in cities, in the countryside and on the move.”

Many rural and tourist regions gain fast LTE network

LTE expansion 2018 in Germany (in German)
In the course of the nationwide network expansion, Telefónica Deutschland upgraded several thousand mobile tower sites in rural regions with the powerful LTE (4G) standard in 2018. In total, more than 5.5 million people were supplied with LTE for the first time. The fast LTE standard allows customers in sparsely populated areas to use digital applications at any time without restriction – from social media and HD video streaming to modern M2M and IoT solutions for individual operation. The newly supplied rural regions are spread throughout Germany: In northern Germany, large areas of East Frisia, Emsland, and the Schleswig-Flensburg, Vorpommern-Rügen and Mecklenburgische Seenplatte districts were added. In the east, numerous new LTE stations were built in Havelland, Spreewald, Südharz, Kyffhäuserkreis, Upper Lusatia and the Altmark. In southern Germany, parts of the Upper Palatinate and Lower Bavaria and areas of the Freudenstadt and Sigmaringen districts in particular were supplied with LTE for the first time. In the west, Telefónica Deutschland primarily advanced the LTE expansion in parts of the Eifel and in other areas of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse. The measures in the fourth quarter alone (October to December) accounted for more than half of the newly supplied area in 2018 – an area larger than the state of Brandenburg or countries such as Albania.

Significantly more LTE for increasing mobile data use

LTE expansion 2018 in Germany (in German)
In parallel with the expansion in terms of area, Telefónica Deutschland added extra capacity to the existing LTE network with its available frequencies. The company therefore performed LTE upgrades in double and triple digits in many cities. This means that even more customers can now use the powerful LTE network at the same time with higher upload and download speeds, share images and videos with friends even faster and stream their favourite films and TV shows. Thanks to the affordable large data packages from O2 Free, customers are consuming increasing amounts of mobile data – at the same time, the upgraded and condensed LTE network ensures that abundant use can be made of the available data volume. Moreover, customers using voice telephony over the LTE network (Voice over LTE, VoLTE) are benefiting from faster connection speeds and considerably improved sound quality.

Intensification of the LTE expansion in 2019: Higher speeds for city, country and transport routes

This year, Telefónica Deutschland will further intensify its own network expansion measures in order to gradually supply the remaining areas of Germany with LTE. The company is concentrating primarily on greater LTE expansion in rural areas and on improved coverage along important traffic infrastructures such as motorways and railway lines. Moreover, Telefónica Deutschland will continue to perform extensive LTE upgrades in cities in order to increase available capacity for its customers. At the same time, the company is increasingly readying its O2 network for the next mobile standard, 5G, by connecting a growing number of mobile tower sites to fast fibre-optic lines. Telefónica Deutschland is thus moving one step closer to its objective of becoming “Mobile Customer & Digital Champion”.