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Deutsche Telekom ups FTTH target to ‘well over’ 10m homes

Tim Höttges Deutsche Telekom.jpg

Deutsche Telekom has increased its target for connecting German homes to fibre to “well over” 10 million, the CEO announced at the shareholders’ meeting.

Tim Höttges (pictured) said this was a boost on the existing 10 million target, but he did not give an exact figure.

The investment will be carried out with GlasfaserPlus, a company established by Deutsche Telekom jointly with the Australian investor IFM.

The IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (IFM GIF) announced its deal with Deutsche Telekom in November 2021 to build fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to four million rural homes. IFM GIF paid €0.9 billion for its 50% stake in GlasfaserPlus.

At the same time, said Höttges at the meeting, Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network now covers 91% of Germany’s 83 million population.

Höttges said Deutsche Telekom is “a responsible company. A successful company. An anchor of stability. Particularly in uncertain times.”

He said: “We were the digital backbone throughout the pandemic. Our networks always kept running smoothly.”

He said the company is protecting itself against energy price increases in Germany, with 85% of costs fixed for 2022 and 75% for 2023. “So, we built in a price cap for ourselves.” He noted: “We always buy from multiple suppliers, never just one. Because, particularly now, we are seeing how important independence is for stability.”

Meanwhile he said the Deutsche Telekom group is supporting Ukraine and its refugees from Russian aggression by making calls and text messages free of charge, as well as the around 650,000 SIM cards that have already been handed out to refugees in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

Höttges announced plans to improve coverage of Germany’s rail network by 2026, with better lineside service and repeaters in the carriages or window panes, which allow mobile communication signals to pass through.

Trains on high-speed ICE routes and the main IC [inter-city] routes will have data rates of at least 200Mbps by the end of 2024, said Höttges. By the end of 2025, data rates of at least 200Mbps will also be available on heavily-travelled routes used by more than 2,000 passengers each day. All other routes are to be supplied with data rates of at least 100Mbps by the end of 2026.