O2 starts catching up with 5g expansion

O2 starts catching up with 5g expansion

The rollout of mobile communications for the new 5G transmission standard is making progress. Telefonica is the third german telecommunications company to launch its O2 brand on 3. The munich-based company announced on thursday that it had connected its first 150 5G stations to the network in october.

Competitors vodafone and deutsche telekom are much further ahead, having already launched in 2019.

The O2 transmission towers upgraded to 5G with around 450 antennas are located in the five cities of berlin, hamburg, munich, frankfurt and coln. At first, they will only cover a small part of the city area, but telefonica plans to continue the expansion in the coming months. Germany boss markus haas said his company will invest four billion euros in the expansion of the O2 network by 2022, i.E. For 4G and 5G antennas. "5G is crucial for the digital future of this country," said haas.

In fact, there are rough hopes associated with the new mobile communications standard. The economy is hoping for a boost in innovation if it can make better use of its data masses. 5G technology is up to 100 times faster than LTE.

The telecommunications companies want to equip factories of corporate customers with the technology and make good business with it. "5G will decisively accelerate the digitalization of the german economy," said haas.

Private users have so far played only a subordinate role in the fifth generation of mobile communications. For the vast majority of mobile applications, the 4G (LTE) carrier standard is sufficient, provided the signal is strong enough and the cell is not overloaded. But 5G could be an advantage for real-time mobile games or for streaming or downloading extremely high-resolution videos. In addition, 5G is likely to become important for private users in the future as more data-intensive apps come onto the market.

Four mobile communications companies had bought 5G frequencies at auction in june 2019 for a total of 6.6 billion euros. Deutsche telekom is the furthest along, with more than 10,000 sites and more than 30,000 5G antennas. According to the company, half of the population lives within range of these installations – and two-thirds are expected to do so by the end of the year. Vodafone has now connected a good 400 sites with around 1,200 antennas to the 5G network – 2.6 million people live within range of these antennas. By the end of the year, 8000 antennas are expected to be activated, with 10 million people within range.

Why is telefonica only flipping the switch now, 15 months after the end of the spectrum auction?? One reason is the need to catch up on separate 4G rollouts – here the munich-based company had not been able to meet coverage obligations from a 2015 spectrum allocation and therefore still has to plug 4G radio holes. A telefonica spokesperson answered the question about the reason for the late start with a reference to the cell phone market: in 2019, there were only a few models that are 5G-compatible. In the meantime, customers have a much wider choice of 5G-capable cell phones. In addition, the first iphone with 5G is expected in a few weeks.

In the case of the fourth mobile communications company to take part in the federal network agency’s auction in 2019, the activation of its own 5G network is still a long way off: the united internet group with its subsidiary 1&1 drillisch is negotiating with the three established network operators to see if they will let it use their 5G network in exchange for rental fees where it does not yet have any antennas itself. The talks are slow or on ice. For 1&1 drillisch, such access is a prerequisite for starting to roll out its own 5G antennas.