Deutsche Telekom brags of 50% 5G population coverage

Population coverage is of course not the same as geographical coverage but hitting the 50% mark is certainly healthy progress none-the-less.

Making use of both 2.1 GHz and 3.6 GHz spectrum assets, Deutsche Telekom is making notable progress in the pursuit of the 5G bonanza. Over the last 5 weeks, the telecoms operator has claimed to bring 18,000 5G antennas online to deliver 5G connectivity to 3,000 towns and municipalities across the country.

“Today, we are celebrating a special day for 5G,” said Walter Goldenits, Head of Technology at Telekom Deutschland. “Half the population in Germany is now covered. 5G has arrived in all German states. This is a big step for our customers, our network and for digitization in Germany.”

Most importantly, the spectrum which is being used allows the telecoms operator to deliver an upgraded experience. In some markets, wider coverage is gained by offering 5G through low-band spectrum, though the promised speeds are impossible to achieve. This does not seem to be the case here, with the 2.1 GHz spectrum offering 5G download speeds which are double that of 4G.

Alongside Vodafone’s German business, Deutsche Telekom does seem to be carving itself a leadership position in the 5G market:

Germany 5G subscriptions 2020-22 (in thousands) – Omdia forecast
Company 2020 2021 2022
1&1 Drillisch 702
O2 Germany 477 2,539
T-Mobile Germany 430 1,253 3,242
Vodafone D2 494 1,426 3,536

Interestingly enough, Germany is keeping pace with the rest of Europe, which would be a different story for a country which is often seen as a moderate adopter of new technologies.

European 5G subscriptions 2020-22 (in thousands) – Omdia forecast
Country 2020 2021 2022
Germany 925 3,157 10,021
France 221 3,401 10,099
UK 3,590 12,522 25,302
Spain 687 3,086 8,227
Italy 889 3,687 10,389

What remains to be seen is how much of an impact the Huawei debacle will have on Germany, and Deutsche Telekom in particular.

Germany has been a successful market for the under-fire Chinese vendor, with DT one of its major customers. It remains to be seen whether German rule maker impose limitations on work with Huawei, though as Deutsche Telekom is still partly Government-owned, it puts in a particularly exposed position.

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