DT installs its first 5G antennas for Berlin trials

03 May 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Deutsche Telekom (DT) has installed its first 5G antennas in Berlin, ready to roll out nationwide 5G services.

The company says it has used the new antennas – in six cells – to demonstrate the first 5G data connection in Europe. All use the 5G New Radio (5G NR) standard.

“We’re continuing on our strong preparation course for the rollout of 5G in 2020,” said Claudia Nemat, DT’s board member for technology and innovation.

The antennas are using frequencies in the 3.7GHz spectrum band under a testing licence, but DT expects to use the lower 3GHz band for initial 5G services.

There are three 5G cells in Leipziger Strasse and three more in Winterfeldtstrasse, about 4km to the west. Nemat said: “Today, right in the heart of Berlin, we’re taking the next decisive step – with the successful integration of commercial 5G technology into our network. We want to ensure that 5G is going to deliver on its promise of enhanced mobility, high speed and low latency.”

The first six commercial antennas cover the Mitte and Schöneberg districts of Berlin for test operations. DT will install an additional 70 cells this year, across a total of more than 20 sites.

The result will be a major 5G testbed in the centre of Germany’s capital, said DT.

Walter Goldenits, CTO at Telekom Deutschland, DT’s German operation, said: “5G New Radio in Berlin is another major step towards 5G for all. This 5G cluster in Berlin will serve as the basis for our future commercial 5G rollout in Germany.”

DT said it is working in cooperation with its Berlin-based hub:raum start-up incubator on a 5G prototyping programme.

Goldenits said: “The antennas are providing important test results. At the same time, they are real elements of what will be our future 5G network. We are preparing the ground so that our network will be ready when the first 5G-capable smartphones appear on the market.”