Deutsche Telekom Takes LTE to the City

Long Term Evolution (LTE) service in Germany is no longer only available to rural dwellers since Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) launched on Wednesday an LTE network in Cologne and revealed plans to roll out the mobile broadband service to 100 more cities.

Deutsche Telekom will be the first operator to launch commercial LTE services in German cities. Up to now, operators in the country have prioritized building out LTE coverage to so-called white spots -- areas with little or no broadband access -- due to the coverage obligations attached to their licenses for 800MHz spectrum that were awarded in May 2010.

With the launch in Cologne, Deutsche Telekom will use the 1800MHz frequency band for the LTE service, offering downlink speeds up to 100 Mbit/s. The operator said it has invested €5 million (US$7.2 million) in Cologne to make this service possible, which includes 100 LTE base stations and 120 kilometers of fiber to connect the base stations.

Services will start on July 1 in Cologne with a special offer -- the first three months will be free and after that, the monthly tariff will be €74.95 ($108). The only device offered is a dual-mode HSPA/LTE USB stick.

Starting this month, Deutsche Telekom will also start service trials with business customers in Munich, Frankfurt and Munster. Further commercial services are planned for more cities in autumn with a price package of €89.95 ($130) per month for 50 Gbytes of data and downlink speeds up to 100 Mbit/s.

Why this matters
There are two "firsts" in this news: It’s the first commercial launch of LTE services in 1800MHz spectrum in Germany and it will be the first time LTE services are available outside rural areas. This means the LTE story in Germany has moved on to the next chapter with different spectrum and a new service pitched at business users in the city. It marks the start of using LTE for more than a DSL replacement option for rural broadband coverage in Germany.

For more
Here are the latest developments on LTE services in Germany:

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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