Deutsche Telekom advocates for less expensive 5G spectrum auctions
It claims more money is needed for network infrastructure improvementsBy Greg Synek
T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom is lobbying German authorities to try and bring the cost of acquiring licenses needed for 5G networks down. The cellular operator cites the high cost of network upgrades and would like to spend more on actual improvements instead of putting a hefty amount of the budget into the right to use certain frequencies.
CEO Tim Hoettges told shareholders, "We can only spend each euro once - either on spectrum or network build-out. My suggestion would be on buildout." Chancellor Angela Merkel and her administration are currently hoping to raise billions of euros by auctioning off higher frequencies.
Deutsche Telekom is a market leader in Germany and believes that if buying spectrum becomes too expensive, it will delay the roll out of 5G and prevent desired investments into network infrastructure. At the same time, a plea for freedom from regulations on fiber optic use was made.
This year, Deutsche Telekom's infrastructure group Deutsche Funkturm is planning to construct at 1,200 locations. Throughout 2019, the goal is over 2,000 installations of new hardware. At the end of next year, Deutsche Telekom is aiming to have fast LTE service available to 98 percent of its customers in Germany and throughout its coverage areas in Europe.
At this time, Deutsche Telekom is providing very optimistic performance metrics for 5G. The company estimates that 2020 will be the year of commercially available 5G with up to 10 times the speed of LTE with 10 times lower latency. Up to 1000 times the network capacity and 100 times the connection density is believed to be possible. Only time will tell if these numbers hold up to real world performance.