German telecoms firm Deutsche Telekom (DT), which provides fixed and mobile services in its domestic market via its subsidiary Telekom Deutschland, has revealed that it enabled an additional 2.5 million households to access its VDSL network last year. As a result, the company is now able to supply around 30 million German homes with VDSL connections. Telekom installed around 40,000km of fibre-optic cable in 2017, up from 30,000km in each of the previous two years, bringing the total length of its domestic fibre network to 455,000km. As part of the all-IP conversion, roughly 4.25 million households in around 50 major cities were supplied with faster internet connections in 2017 and an additional 1.75 million homes will be added to this in the first two months of 2018, enabling download speeds of up to 100Mbps. ‘We will start rolling out super vectoring in the second half of 2018,’ stated Walter Goldenits, CTO at Telekom Deutschland, adding: ‘As a result, little by little, all VDSL lines will support speeds of up to 250Mbps in the future. This will help move Germany ahead in terms of average broadband speeds.’ Regarding fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) progress, Telekom says it will continue to equip new housing developments with the technology as a rule, while coverage of business parks with FTTH will accelerate, provided sufficient interest is shown by the resident businesses.
In terms of mobile communication, Telekom increased coverage of its LTE network to more than 93% of the population in 2017 and plans to reach 95% of Germans with 4G this year, mainly by focusing on expanding coverage along important transportation routes, such as freeways and rail lines, as well as rural areas. The firm revealed that the rollout of small cell networks will also begin in cities this year, in order to reduce the load on existing rooftop sites and provide additional capacity and data throughput in city centres. Small cells will also play an important role in the preparations for 5G, which Telekom anticipates will be ready from 2020.