Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica Deutschland team up for network expansion

08 October 2018 | Jason McGee-Abe

Cover

Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica Deutschland are consolidating their strengths to speed up the expansion of their mobile communications networks.

The two companies have agreed to connect at least 5,000 Telefónica Deutschland mobile base stations with Deutsche Telekom's high-performance fibre-optic network in the long-term. In turn, Deutsche Telekom can dedicate the captured synergy effects directly to its own network expansion. This cooperation is not only remarkable due to its scope but it also points the way forward for the future 5G communications standard and new digital applications.

"This agreement is an important step toward ensuring the future viability of Germany's mobile communications infrastructure," said Dirk Wössner, managing director of Telekom Deutschland (pictured on the right).

"Everyone will win from this cooperation, because Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica can both capture synergies. The resources that we save will be dedicated directly to our own network upgrades and the development of 5G. Deutsche Telekom is building and operating the largest fibre-optic network in Germany by far. We are very pleased that we will now be utilising our infrastructure together with Telefónica – because it will benefit Germany and millions of people."

The cooperation also shows that telecommunications providers seek to cooperate without regulatory intervention, added Wössner.

Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica Deutschland have been partners for many years: the two companies concluded a mobile backhaul contract in 2011. In a mobile communications network, the backhaul connects the widely dispersed base stations – that is, the cellular antennas – with the network centre. The new agreement builds on this contract and expands the partnership significantly.

Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland (pictured on the left), also sees the agreement as a positive signal: "This partnership between Telefónica Deutschland and Deutsche Telekom represents an important milestone for network expansion in Germany. By using the available infrastructure, we can accelerate the expansion of our mobile network and get a significant portion of our mobile base stations in shape for the future 5G standard.”

Haas added: “As a result, our customers will benefit directly from a more powerful mobile network and a better user experience." In its network upgrades, Telefónica Deutschland will build on successful partnerships with network operators like Deutsche Telekom and alternative mobile communications providers, to connect an increasing share of its mobile base stations with fast, fibre-optic cables.”

With their partnership, the two network operators are creating an ideal foundation for upgrading the current 3G and 4G (LTE) antennas at their base stations to 5G successively in the coming years. Customers of the two companies don't have to worry about changes to contract clauses or phone numbers – the two mobile networks will continue to exist independently of one another. Deutsche Telekom will be responsible for operating and monitoring the fibre-optic network.