Telefonica O2 Germany has announced it has begun deployment of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in rural areas of the country. The operator’s first LTE pilot networks using the 800MHz frequency band will be switched on in Teutschenthal, located near Halle, and Ebersberg near Munich, in November. Customers will be able to trial the new broadband network a month later, and in 2011 O2 will begin construction and commercialisation of LTE in up to 1,500 locations across Germany. The operator is using spectrum in the 800MHz ‘digital dividend’ frequency band – freed up after the switchover from analogue to digital TV – for its rural LTE rollout as the spectrum is best suited to cover hard to reach areas with mobile broadband internet. The rural rollout follows the launch of O2’s first pilot LTE network in Munich early last month. The urban trial network operates in the 2.6GHz frequency band and enables maximum download speeds of 100Mbps. 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 and a further two in Ebersberg and Teutschenthal. O2 has partnered with Chinese equipment vendor Huawei and Finland’s Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for the pilot networks.
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