Niek Jan van Damme, a member of Deutsche Telekom AG's (DT's) management board, used the opening of the IFA 2017 event in Berlin September 1 to highlight his company's fiber-optic network investments. The address included the announcement of a gigabit broadband offering via its fiber to the premises (FTTP) infrastructure.
DT operated 455,000 km of fiber-optic cable and 8.2 million fiber customer lines at the mid-way point of this year, van Damme asserted. The latter number includes 1.4 million new lines deployed in the first six months of 2017. The line growth comes on the heels of previous expansion in 2016, during which DT spent 5 billion euros on its network, according to van Damme.
van Damme added that the service provider will test the demand for gigabit broadband by offering the service to current FTTP-connected customers. The bundled MagentaZuhause GIGA plan will offer 1-Gbps download speeds paired with 500 Mbps in the upstream. The plan also will include the EntertainTV Plus video service as well as flat-rate calls within the entire German fixed-line network and to all German mobile networks. The plan will cost subscribers 119.95 euros per month.
However, the fiber cable investment targets more than FTTP service provision. van Damme says that DT also has expanded its fiber-based cell tower connections in support of LTE mobile services. The new fiber also will enable deployment of "super vectoring" technology in a fiber to the street topology that will maintain copper-based subscriber connections. DT plans to offer downstream rates of up to 250 Mbps via super vectoring after it launches the VDSL2 variant in 2018.
"We have announced our intention to extend broadband coverage (at least 50 Mbps) to 80% of households in Germany and that is what we are going to do," said van Damme during a press conference at IFA. "Deutsche Telekom invests while others just complain."
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