At a presentation of the company´s network strategy at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, German telecoms group Deutsche Telekom (DT) has revealed that it is aiming for eight million IP-based lines across its European footprint by the end of 2014. DT board members Claudia Nemat and Niek Jan van Damme said the telco is aiming to transform its traditional fixed line network to one based completely on IP in various European countries, in a bid to create a pan-European network that will integrate mobile communications and fixed line network technology. In Germany, around 2.1 million lines have already been converted to IP. ‘In 2014, we want to more than double the number of connections converted to IP… Our ambitious objective is to transform our entire network in Germany to IP technology by the end of 2018. We are doing this to enhance the customer experience through superior products, better customer service and shorter time-to-market with higher speed and less latency,’ said Niek Jan van Damme. In the EU operating segment (excluding Germany) around 2.7 million lines have so far been migrated; the network of Macedonian subsidiary Makedonski Telekom already runs entirely on IP technology, to be followed by Slovakia by the end of 2014, Croatia, Montenegro and Hungary from 2015, and Romania, Greece and Germany by the end of 2018.
DT states that LTE will play an increasingly important role for its next generation network, with the company aiming to provide LTE to its customers at every other base station across Europe by 2016. ‘Today I can say that we have reached a point in the LTE rollout in Germany where our customers can use LTE in over 150 cities with speeds up to 150Mbps,’ stated Mr van Damme, who added that data rates of 300Mbps will be the next milestone. In a test of LTE Advanced technology in the German city of Alzey last week, DT reached speeds of up to 580Mbps. DT also presented a hybrid router of fixed, LTE and Wi-Fi technologies at the MWC, which will enable customers to experience new top speeds when launched onto the market at the end of the year.