DT and Telefónica Share Infrastructure to Enhance 4G Network Coverage

DT and Telefónica Share Infrastructure to Enhance 4G Network Coverage

Before the end of the year, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica/o2 aim to overcome several hundred gray spots in 4G network coverage for their customers. The partners will share active network technology at the sites.

Unlike previous joint projects, such as site sharing or the operator agreement to close white spots, no second separate wireless technology or additional antennas must be installed with this approach. The two companies have now signed a letter of intent.

Not all operators have the same network coverage at present, particularly outside residential areas and away from major transit routes. The result is gray spots, areas in which not all operators can offer their customers mobile network access via 4G. These sparsely frequented areas often pose financial challenges for operators when setting up and operating separate infrastructures using their own network technology.

The agreement aims to close this coverage gap and resolve the financial shortcomings. Both companies plan to implement active network sharing at several hundred selected antenna sites to fill gray spots in Germany. A new technological approach in the networks of both providers will make this possible. Ultimately enabling operators to offer all customers 4G access in the 800 MHz frequency band at each site.

Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and Telefónica/o2 have already joined forces to develop areas with no coverage at all to date (“white spots”): In fall 2019, the three national mobile network operators signed a general agreement covering just under 6,000 new sites. Each operator builds their assigned infrastructure share and grants the other players usage rights to the resulting passive network infrastructure. Unlike the new joint project, only structural infrastructure such as mobile masts and power supply is shared in the white spots. Each operator provides the transmission technology and antennas themselves in their particular area.

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