Telefonica Germany, which operates under the O2 brand, will activate 5G networks in five German cities on October 3, the company said in a release.
Telco, which is owned by the Spanish telecommunications group Telefonica, will initially offer commercial 5G services in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne.
“With 5G, we are starting the era of new cell phones and democratizing high technology,” said Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Germany / O2. “Our O2 mobile network connects more than 43 million subscribers and thus most of the people in Germany. Therefore, we have a special responsibility to start the data turbo for German digitization. 5G is essential for our digital future. This is why we are investing 4 billion euros ($ 4.65 billion) in expanding our O2 network by 2022. “
The O2 5G network will start with around 150 base stations in Germany’s five largest cities. The telecommunications company said that 9 million people in these cities will be able to start experiencing the new technology. O2 will initially launch the service using its spectrum in the 3.6 Ghz band, which it will acquire in a spectrum auction in 2019.
“We will bring 5G to more cities and especially to rural areas in a short time. And in order to get our residential customers to these areas faster than ever before, we will use a wide spectrum of technologies. We will give all our business customers a clear competitive advantage through virtualization of our core 5G network, ”said Mallik Rao, CTO of Telefónica Germany / O2.
O2 said that its retail customers will be able to experience 5G technology from October 6 at no additional cost. Telco says that 5G is part of all O2 phone packages which start at 39.99 euros.
“5G is the future. Our O2 brand will make this future affordable and thus accessible to everyone, ”said Wolfgang Metze, member of the Telefónica Deutschland / O2 Management Board responsible for retail customers. “We launched 5G at the right time. New mobile technology is no longer the only place ‘early adopters’ play. Now it is becoming more and more relevant for the daily digital life of all customers, ”added Metze.
Initially, O2 will offer a 5G standard maximum speed of 300 Mbps and will offer a 5G-capable smartphone in all price categories. This includes devices from Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Google. Additional new 5G devices from other vendors are expected in the near future, the telecommunications company said.
Rival operator Vodafone initially launched a 5G network in Germany in 2019, at the 3.5 GHz frequency it acquired from Telefónica in 2018.
By the end of 2020, Vodafone aims to provide 5G to 10 million people, while the total 5G coverage by the end of 2021 will reach 20 million people.
Deutsche Telekom recently announced that its 5G service currently reaches 3,000 cities and towns across the country, with nearly 30,000 5G antennas already in operation. The operator says that its current 5G service reach half of the country’s population.
Meanwhile, the construction of Drillisch’s new entrant 1 & 1 5G network has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to previous reports, 1 & 1 Drillisch hopes to roll out its 5G network by 2021.
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