IFA 2019: DT’s 5G Network Switched On In Germany

On the opening day of the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, Deutsche Telekom has announced that its 5G network has been switched on in five German cities.

Germany has only launched its 5G spectrum auction in March this year, and the former German incumbent had paid 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) for 5G spectrum.

The DT 5G networks have gone live in parts of Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Bonn and Darmstadt, offering speeds of up to 1Gbps, providing users have a 5G smartphone of course.

5G Germany

According to Reuters, a DT statement said that the carrier also plans to launch 5G networks in Hamburg and Leipzig by the end of the year.

Another 20 German cities will get their own 5G networks in 2020.

“We are bringing 5G to the streets and will orient ourselves toward our customers’ needs,” Telekom’s chief technology officer Walter Goldenits was quoted as saying. “We will go where the demand for data is greatest.”

Rival Vodafone has already launched its 5G networks in 20 German cities in mid July, just weeks after it launched its 5G network in the UK.

Vodafone’s 5G network is reportedly aiming to cover 25 cities, 25 municipalities and 10 industrial parks by the end of this year.

World launches

The UK was among the first European countries to launch 5G networks.

SK Telecom (South Korea) launched in April what it claimed was the world’s first commercial 5G network, spanning 85 cities.

But that claim was immediately disputed American carrier AT&T, which said it rolled out a “commercial and standards-based” 5G network (across 12 cities) in December last year.

Verizon in the US meanwhile had switched on its 5G network in two cities on 11 April.

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Tom Jowitt @TJowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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