The operator has expanded its fibre-to-the-home network (FTTH) by 1.2 million homes in 2021, with plans to further increase its pace to 2 million a year in 2022
This week, German incumbent Deutsche Telekom is showing off what a successful year it has had in both fibre and 5G, noting that its fibre rollout in particularly is set to accelerate even further in 2022.
According to the operator, the company has laid more than 70,000km of fibre throughout Germany this year, bringing the total length of the company’s network to 650,000km. This equated to 1.2 million additional homes gaining access to a FTTH connection in 2021, over double the amount that were connected back in 2020.
This fibre acceleration does not stop there, however, with Telekom continuing to ramp up deployment, aiming for 2 million additional connections in 2022.
Looking further still, Deutsche Telekom is targeting 10 million FTTH connections by 2024, after which the company will target 2.5 million additional connections every year.
"Optical fiber is fast, stable and future-proof. We are building a high-speed network that will ensure digital participation for everyone in Germany. As announced, we are focusing our roll-out on rural areas. By 2030, we want to build eight million fiber-optic connections in communities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants. In addition, our GlasfaserPlus joint venture will provide four million rural households with a fiber-optic connection," said Srini Gopalan, Member of the Board of Management of Telekom Deutschland.
Gopalan also commented on the role that the government will play in facilitating their rollout, noting that the new ruling coalition, headed by Olaf Scholz, has been vocal in its support of FTTH network expansion.
“The new coalition is focusing on FTTH as THE technology of digitization. We explicitly welcome this. Faster processes – including for applications and approvals – will also help us to speed up fiber roll-out. We support the digital set off in our country. Digital networks should bring people together. Their roll-out should no longer be stuck in paper files,” he said.
Meanwhile, in terms of 5G, Telekom’s network has been expanding at a similarly rapid pace, with coverage now reportedly reaching 90% of the German population.
The operator has over 63,000 5G antennas in operation, 6,000 of which were deployed this year. Around 3,500 of these antennas have also been upgraded this year to support the 3.6 GHz spectrum to support standalone 5G.
Deutsche Telekom plans to roll out 5G standalone over additional frequency bands in 2022.
Finally, the company took the opportunity to display its green credentials, noting that its German networks have run entirely on renewable energy since 2020. The company also has significant eco-friendly goals for the future, aiming for CO2 neutrality when it comes to its own direct and indirect emissions (Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 2025; carbon neutrality for its entire supply chain will be achieved by 2040.
The company also aims to double its energy efficiency by 2024, helped in no small part by the sunsetting of their 3G network.
As the largest telecoms player in Germany, it should come as no surprise that the company is leading the way in terms of network deployment in terms of both fibre and 5G. The company’s major mobile competitors – O2 and Vodafone – are both considerably behind when it comes to 5G deployment; O2 has said it is aiming to cover 50% of the German population with 5G by the end of 2022, while Vodafone Deutschland currently has a 5G network that covers around 35 million people –less than half of the German population.
When it comes to fibre, however, competition is beginning to emerge. Just yesterday, major player Deutsche Glasfaser announced it had received €5.75 billion in new financing, which it will use to rapidly expand its own rollout. Telefonica also teamed up with Allianz to launch a fibre joint venture, Unsere Gruene Glasfaser, back in 2020, which began deployment of their €5 billion FTTH network earlier this year. With new investment flowing into the German fibre market from numerous sources, the extent of Deutsche Telekom’s dominance in fibre could easily be chipped away in the coming years.
Is Germany rolling out fibre and 5G quickly enough? What will this mean for the German telecoms industry? Find out from the experts at the upcoming, live Connected Germany event
Also in the news:
EE scaling up 4G upgrades for Shared Rural Network
Asia Communication Award Winners 2021
Deutsche Glasfaser secures €5.75 billion in new financing