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4G/3G/WiFi

Deutsche Telekom Goes Live With LTE

True to its word, Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) just officially launched commercial Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in Germany. (See Deutsche Telekom Sets LTE Launch Data.)

The German giant said at the end of last year that it planned to start offering the Call & Surf Comfort via Funk service in April to rural areas that are not served by DSL. And a press release from the operator here (in German) heralds the launch of the service. (See Deutsche Telekom Sets LTE Launch Data.)

Deutsche Telekom will use this initial LTE network rollout to offer a DSL replacement-type service to areas of the country where there is poor broadband coverage. The service, which is not portable, offers speeds up to 3 Mbit/s on the downlink and up to 500 kbit/s on the uplink. The monthly charge for the service is €39.50 (US$56.60) with a minimum contract length of 24 months. A Wi-Fi/LTE router from Huawei can be rented for €4.95 (US$7) per month.

Why this matters
While it's not the first LTE service in Germany (Vodafone Germany won that race), it's the first LTE service from the country's largest operator Deutsche Telekom. And DT hit its launch date target precisely, which is not to be taken for granted considering that LTE is a new network technology for the operator. (See Vodafone Beats Deutsche Telekom to LTE Launch.)

LTE competition is sure to intensify in the country as Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone race to cover the rural areas -- so-called "white spots" -- with LTE using their new 800MHz spectrum licenses. The licenses for the 800MHz spectrum in Germany have an obligation attached, requiring the network operators to roll out in underserved broadband areas first before they can roll out services in more densely populated urban areas.

Telefónica O2 Germany GmbH & Co. OHG is the third 800MHz licensee and it has not yet launched its LTE services. (See O2 Germany Preps LTE Pilots.)

For more
The track the LTE developments in Germany, please see these stories:



— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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