WATCH VIDEO. German telco Deutsche Telekom is laying the foundation for the rollout of 5G in Germany.
The first 5G antennas in Europe to fully support the new communications standard are now operating in real-world conditions in Deutsche Telekom’s network in downtown Berlin. The antennas, three cells located in Leipziger Straße and three in Winterfeldtstraße, are based on 5G New Radio (5G NR), the mobile component of 5G. Telekom is deploying an entire 5G cluster in the heart of Berlin.
“We’re continuing on our strong preparation course for the rollout of 5G in 2020,” said Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom board member for technology and innovation. “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.”
Deutsche Telekom’s 5G cluster in downtown Berlin is initially covering an area of up to five kilometres. The first six commercial antennas are now installed in sites in Berlin’s Mitte and Schöneberg districts for test operations. An additional 70 cells are to be installed by the summer of this year, across a total of more than 20 sites. The result will be a 5G testbed in the centre of Germany’s capital.
Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer at Telekom Deutschland, said: “This 5G cluster in Berlin will serve as the basis for our future commercial 5G rollout in Germany. 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.”
The antennas are currently using frequencies in the 3.7 GHz spectrum band under a testing license. In general, the 3 GHz band is one of the spectrum bands in focus for 5G initial deployments. The basis for the 5G spectrum and further planning will be the licensing and frequency allocation by Germany’s Federal Network Agency.
The implementation is using commercial 5G equipment from Huawei as well as software and terminals based on the 3rd-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard for 5G New Radio (in the non-standalone version). The mobile communications component for 5G was standardised in December 2017. Deploying 5G NR in the sub 6 GHz mid-band is ideally suited for 5G use cases that require wide-area coverage, multi-gigabit data throughput and millisecond low latencies.