Thursday, May 3, 2018

Deutsche Telekom begins pilot 5G rollout in Berlin

Deutsche Telekom has activated its first six cells with commercial 5G antennas in the heart of Berlin and thereby achieved the first 5G data connection in a live network in Europe.

The Deutsche Telekom 5G cluster covers an area of up to five kilometers wide in Berlin's Mitte and Schöneberg districts for test operations. The antennas, in three cells located in Leipziger Straße and three in Winterfeldtstraße, are based on the 5G New Radio (5G NR) specs. The antennas are using frequencies in the 3.7 GHz spectrum band under a testing license. The 5G equipment is integrated into the live network infrastructure, meaning it is interacting with Deutsche Telekom's 4G spectrum in Germany.

DT's plan is to install an additional 70 cells by the summer across a total of more than 20 sites.

DT 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).

"We're continuing on our strong preparation course for the rollout of 5G in 2020," noted 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."

"5G New Radio in Berlin is another major step towards 5G for all”, explained Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer at Telekom Deutschland. "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."

Deutsche Telekom said it is working in cooperation with its Berlin-based hub:raum start-up incubator, to launch a 5G Prototyping Program. Another relevant program, focused on low latency, is already successfully underway. Both programs are geared towards innovative application developers seeking to exploit the advantages of Edge Computing and 5G network performance. These developers will have the opportunity to verify their ideas on a live environment in the 5G cluster in Berlin.


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