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3.6 GHz: Deutsche Telekom expands the Gigabit 5G network

In Dortmund 5G antennas in the 3.6 GHz range with high capacity and short range are used – and antennas in the previous 3G spectrum.

Deutsche Telekom’s advertising image for the network launch in the Ruhr area
(Picture: Deutsche Telekom)

Deutsche Telekom has switched on 5G antennas in the 3.6 GHz frequency range in Dortmund. This was announced by the network operator on November 9, 2020. 5G in this area achieves high data transfer rates of up to 1 GBit/s and more and, according to the company, is used primarily at locations with a lot of public traffic.

24 new 5G antennas were installed and activated in the network. Walter Goldenits, Managing Director Technology of Telekom Deutschland, explained that different frequency bands for 5G and LTE will be combined. The 5G network in this area is available at Telekom in nine other German cities in addition to Dortmund: Berlin, Bonn, Darmstadt, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig and Munich. Deutsche Telekom publicly advertises that it has the largest 5G network in Germany. Vodafone has not yet contradicted this. Telefónica’s 5G rollout is still in its infancy.

Telekom mainly relies on the 2.1 GHz band for 5G rollout

High frequencies offer higher data rates, but these do not go very far. At the lower 2.1 GHz frequency, the range of 5G antennas is significantly higher, but the data rate is significantly lower. By using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), additional spectrum is made available for LTE customers. In the city of Dortmund, just over 300 antennas have already been on air since the summer using the 2.1 GHz frequency. These are now being supplemented by the new antennas.

In its 5G rollout, Telekom is relying mainly on the 2.1 GHz band, the previous 3G spectrum. According to the operator, this will enable around 225 Mbit/s. According to the company, the network will reach a maximum of 600 to 800 Mbit/s in the radio cell in cities.

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