Deutsche Telekom has embarked on multiple collaborations with prominent organisations in a significant push to enhance mobile communications coverage across Germany. In collaboration with Deutsche Bahn (DB) and Autobahn GmbH, Deutsche Telekom is making significant strides in expanding and enhancing the mobile communications network across Germany. Deutsche Telekom is actively expanding its network along major highways, railways, and various regions, ensuring widespread access to fast and reliable connectivity for millions of users.
Collaboration with Deutsche Bahn: Seamless Mobile Network Deployment along Railway Tracks
One of the key developments comes from Deutsche Telekom's partnership with the Deutsche Bahn (DB), the national railway company. After two years of collaboration, the duo has achieved remarkable progress in the seamless mobile network deployment along railway tracks. The telecommunication giant has already achieved 97 percent LTE coverage with speeds of 200 Mbps. This accomplishment exceeds the requirements set by the Federal Network Agency, which mandates data rates of 100 Mbps for main routes and 50 Mbps for secondary routes. To achieve this extensive coverage, Deutsche Telekom has constructed 300 new mobile masts and modernised or expanded 700 existing sites.
Under the agreement signed in June 2021, Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom committed to providing comprehensive mobile coverage across DB's entire network by the end of 2026. The expansion along the approximately 7,800-kilometer main traffic routes, which accommodate ICE and important IC trains, was scheduled for completion by the end of 2024. By the end of 2025, coverage along the 13,800-kilometer high-traffic routes, serving more than 2,000 passengers daily, was planned. These objectives are now within reach, with over 90 percent LTE coverage at speeds of 200 Mbps already available on these heavily frequented routes.
Moreover, the collaboration between Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom has made substantial progress in providing LTE coverage at speeds of up to 100 Mbps along the remaining approximately 12,000 kilometres of DB's network beyond the main and high-traffic routes. DB and Telekom had agreed on LTE supply with a data rate of up to 100 Mbps by the end of 2026.
With over 95 percent of this goal achieved, the majority of DB's network now offers reliable connectivity with impressive data rates. Efforts to ensure improved mobile reception include equipping new long-distance trains, such as the ICE 3neo and ICE L, with mobile signal-permeable windows. For regional trains, decisions regarding retrofitting with signal-permeable windows are made in cooperation with local authorities.
Deutsche Bahn contributes to the mobile network expansion by providing infrastructure, including land, fibre connections, and access to buildings and mobile masts. Hundreds of contracts have been established between DB and Deutsche Telekom in recent years. Additionally, over 100 railway tunnels have been made compatible with mobile reception through collaborative efforts. Longer tunnels with bends require additional antennas, which may temporarily disrupt train traffic due to safety precautions.
Telekom expands mobile communications at 820 locations
In parallel, Deutsche Telekom has expanded its mobile network at 820 locations nationwide in the last six weeks. This expansion includes the construction of 143 new sites that offer LTE and 5G frequencies, as well as increased capacity at 677 existing sites to enhance the performance of the Telekom network. Currently, over 9,000 5G antennas operate nationwide on the 3.6 GHz frequency.
The Telekom network's 5G coverage has become increasingly widespread, with approximately 95 percent of households currently able to access the network. LTE coverage, on the other hand, extends to 99 percent of households. By 2025, Deutsche Telekom aims to reach 99 percent of the population with 5G coverage, contributing to Germany's digital readiness and future-proof network infrastructure.
Partnership with Autobahn: Enhancing Mobile Network on Highways
Recognising the importance of comprehensive mobile coverage along Germany's extensive highway network, Autobahn GmbH and Deutsche Telekom have launched a cooperative effort. The initiative aims to significantly enhance surfing speeds and reduce dropped calls on the autobahns. To achieve this, Deutsche Telekom plans to construct approximately 400 additional mobile sites along the 13,000-kilometer highway network and modernise existing radio sites.
The goal is to provide nationwide 5G and LTE coverage with a minimum speed of 200 Mbps by the end of 2027, compared to the current 100 Mbps. Autobahn will support the expansion by providing Telekom with land adjacent to the roadways, facilitating faster and simplified site search and construction planning.
The partnership between Autobahn and Deutsche Telekom aligns with the German government's objective of nationwide 5G coverage along the highway network. The 5G rollout holds great potential for traffic management, economic opportunities, and advancements in autonomous and connected mobility. The government encourages all mobile network operators to expand their infrastructures along federal highways, enabling the realisation of new applications and supporting sustainable transportation.
In summary, Deutsche Telekom's collaborations with Deutsche Bahn, Autobahn, and ongoing infrastructure expansion efforts demonstrate the company's commitment to providing high-quality and reliable mobile communications throughout Germany's key transportation networks.