Telefonica O2 Germany has announced the launch of its first pilot Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in Munich. The trial network, which will not be launched commercially, operates in the 2.6GHz frequency band and enables maximum download speeds of 100Mbps. ‘The launch of LTE in Munich is another important milestone in the development of mobile telephony of the future,’ said O2 Germany’s CEO Rene Schuster, adding: ‘With the global know-how of Telefonica and the recently acquired spectrum, we are well equipped to provide our customers in Germany with mobile high speed internet.’ As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in late July 2010 the Spanish-owned company revealed it would deploy a total of four LTE networks by the end of the year: one each in the cities of Munich and Halle (operating in the 2.6GHz frequency band) and a further two in the rural areas of Ebersberg (located east of Munich) and Teutschenthal (west of Halle), which will operate in the so-called ‘digital dividend’ 800MHz frequency band. O2 has partnered with Chinese equipment vendor Huawei and Finland’s Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for the pilot networks. O2 secured two paired 5MHz blocks in the 800MHz band for EUR1.212 billion (USD1.6 billion), as well as four blocks of spectrum in the 2.6GHz band, in the Federal Network Agency’s (FNA’s) spectrum auction, which concluded in May 2010.
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