Deutsche Telekom accelerates fibre rollout
December 5, 2022
By Colin Mann
In the coming year, Deutsche Telekom plans to increase the pace of its fibre rollout significantly, with 2.5 to 3 million connections set to be added in 2023. In the current year, Telekom’s fibre team is fully on track to achieve the goal of offering FTTH connections to an additional 2 million households and businesses. By the end of 2022, Telekom will increase its fibre reach to a total of 5.2 million connections. By 2024, it is expected to have more than ten million connections.
“Our fibre optic engine is running,” commented Telekom Germany CEO Srini Gopalan at the company’s Network Day in Bonn. “We have built more fibre this year than all other competitors combined. In the second phase, we will bring even more fibre even faster to our customers. It’s all about growth and scaling. We have a clear plan that we are implementing with our strong team. Our 5G coverage already reaches 94 per cent of people in Germany a good three years after launch. Whether mobile or fibre, our ambition is to be ahead for our customers.”
Telekom relies on a regional approach so that it can rollout fibre optics quickly and efficiently on site. Arrangements with municipalities, work in the streets and marketing to households and businesses are a regional business. To this end, Telekom has set up teams that think, plan and act regionally. They make decisions on the selection of areas and the deployment of investments.
Cooperative ventures continue to be an important element in the rollout. Telekom is working successfully with partners on fibre rollout, from local city network operators to competitors. For example, 134,000 FTTH lines are to be created in Bochum in cooperation with Glasfaser Ruhr. In the cooperation with Stadtwerke Münster, the first customers have been connected to the network since this summer. And close local cooperation is also paying off in the Stuttgart gigabit region: 120 communities in the Stuttgart region are already benefiting from high-speed Internet. More than 260,000 households there can already book a fibre connection from Telekom, over 60,000 of them in the state capital. GlasfaserPlus, which was established just over a year ago, has got off to a good start and already has more than 550,000 households on the market.
Deutsche Telekom plans to increase the number of fibre optic installers in the Fiber Factory by 50 per cent. “The increase we have set ourselves for fibre optic expansion in 2023 is enormous. To ensure that we can continue to deliver on our promises, we need to invest in more than just network technology,” Gopalan continued. “We want to hire up to 1,000 new fibre experts. The majority of them for the installation area. We urgently need this power to get superfast connections into people’s living rooms.”
Telekom has exceeded its targets for 2022 in terms of mobile network expansion. 94 percent of people in Germany can already use 5G. More than 80,000 antennas are transmitting 5G. Of these, around 8,000 antennas will be using the fast 5G frequency in the 3.6 gigahertz band by the end of the year. The goal for the 5G rollout is to cover 99 percent of the population by 2025.
“More capacity, more performance and always the best experience for customers – these are our goals for the rollout. With the 5G rollout, this has worked out at a pace that we have never seen with any other mobile standard,” said Walter Goldenits, Head of Technology at Telekom Deutschland. “Our commitment and investments in mobile expansion are paying off. Independent tests have once again confirmed that Deutsche Telekom has the best network. We are proud of this, but we will not rest on our laurels. We are continuing to accelerate our rollout to provide 99 percent of the population with 5G by 2025.”
Telekom is already looking at the successor technology 6G at a very early stage. The company has taken the lead in two 6G research projects with partners from industry, academia and science. “This early, joint start is important to prepare the ground for the sixth generation of communications technology,” said Claudia Nemat Board member for Technology and Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. At the same time, she said, the innovation unit is looking at new applications. “What seems like a gimmick today could be tomorrow’s business case. And one thing is clear – it all requires our high-performance networks.”