Deutsche Telekom highlights high-speed broadband investments

Deutsche Telekom has revealed more about its plans to expand its network infrastructure over the next few years. On the mobile side of things, the German incumbent plans to increase top speeds in its network to 150 Mbps. For the fixed network, the operator says it will make 100-Mbps connections available on a large scale by installing more optical fiber in combination with vectoring on its last-mile copper plant.

Sep 5th, 2013

Deutsche Telekom has revealed more about its plans to expand its network infrastructure over the next few years. On the mobile side of things, the German incumbent plans to increase top speeds in its network to 150 Mbps. For the fixed network, the operator says it will make 100-Mbps connections available on a large scale by installing more optical fiber in combination with vectoring on its last-mile copper plant.

Meaning, of course, that mobile users may enjoy better advertised download speeds than those on fixed networks.

Calling it “the largest construction site for the future of Germany,” Deutsche Telekom says it will be working on the network expansion at more than 52,000 construction sites across Germany in 2014. Over 24 million households will be connected to the operator’s fiber-optic network by 2016.

“We’re strengthening our position as the leading network provider for our customers. No other telecommunications company invests as much as Deutsche Telekom,” claimed René Obermann, chairman of the board of management of Deutsche Telekom. The group says it expects to invest more than €23 billion in Germany between 2010 and 2015.

In addition, the network expansion will have positive effects on the work force, securing jobs for the coming years. For example, the group plans to hire almost 6,000 trainees by 2015. Deutsche Telekom says it will reduce outsourcing in favor of internal jobs and promote partial retirement over early retirement. In doing so the group will keep senior employees’ experience in the company as part of demography-oriented personnel development.

In its expansion of the network infrastructure, the group says it is implementing the “best possible” combination of technologies, including mobile communications, fixed-line, IP-based infrastructure and wireless connections (Wi-Fi).

In mobile communications, the comprehensive rollout of LTE equipment is making new top speeds possible for data transfers on the go. The group already boasts top speeds of 100 Mbps in its LTE coverage today. All LTE base stations will be equipped with the new technology in cities and urban centers where 100 Mbps is possible to increase top speeds to 150 Mbps. That means high-speed LTE will be available immediately in well over 100 German cities, and that number is set to rise to almost 200 by the end of the year.

Hamburg will be the first German city to be equipped with Wi-Fi technology on a large scale, and will thereby become the first “HotSpot city,” according to the service provider.

In the home, the use of vectoring technology and the expansion of the fiber-optic infrastructure will enable data transfer speeds of up to 100 Mbps in the fixed network, says DT. Around 12 million households are already connected to the group’s fiber-optic network (almost exclusively via a fiber to the cabinet approach), and another 800,000 will join this year. About 24 million households will be provided with fiber-optic connections via FTTC by the end of 2016. To achieve these kinds of figures, Deutsche Telekom will set up 17,600 additional multifunctional cabinets and lay approximately 10,000 km of fiber-optic cable to connect them.

Underpinning these changes, Deutsche Telekom is continuing with the modernization of its network through the large-scale conversion to IP-based connections. A higher-capacity IP infrastructure lays the foundation for integrated networks with expanded functionalities, while customers will benefit from a higher comfort level in the network, including better sound quality and simple cabling according to DT.

The IP conversion is also taking place in the group’s other European subsidiaries and affiliates – and it’s happening even faster in some places. For example, it will be completed in Macedonia by the end of this year. Slovakia will be the next to finish in 2014, Croatia and Montenegro will follow in 2015, and then Hungary in 2016.

Deutsche Telekom says the IP conversion is just a milestone on its journey to implement a “radically new” architectural concept: TeraStream. This IP-based technology was successfully tested in a pilot in Croatia at the end of 2012 (see “Cisco deploys Terastream network for Hrvatski Telekom in Croatia”). This architecture will allow the intelligence for network operations and services to be transferred into the cloud, the operator says.

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.


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