Now they’re beginning to roll out LTE service.
- Vodafone Germany has announced aggressive LTE rollout plans and tiered data bundles, according to an LTE World report. At a press conference this week it announced plans to serve more than 1,000 German municipalities with LTE by the end of this year, increasing this to 1,500 by next March. Vodafone also unveiled its data packages and tariffs; 7.2 Mb/s downstream speeds, with a 10GB cap, will be available for a monthly tariff of EUR39.99, while an extra EUR10 a month will enable customers to get 21.6 Mb/s maximum download speeds and a 15GB cap.
LTEWorld claims that EUR69.99 a month will buy users 30GB of data and peak downloads of 50 Mb/s. Telecompaper reports that when consumers use up their allotted data allowance, the download speed is automatically reduced to “UMTS levels (384 kb/s)” until a new month begins.
- Vodafone Germany’s LTE network is being built by Huawei and Ericsson. Vodafone will start work on the LTE upgrade at the end of September, and by next year 1,500 base stations will incorporate LTE technology.
- Telefonica O2 announced LTE plans earlier this year. It plans to build two LTE networks in Munich and Halle before the end of 2010 using 2.6GHz spectrum and another two LTE networks based on the 800 MHz band in two rural areas, using equipment from Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks.
- Deutsche Telekom, has apparenly deployed its first LTE base station in the German state of Brandenburg. The base station uses the 800 MHz frequency band and is located in Kyritz. The operator wants to increase LTE coverage to 500 locations in Germany, by the end of this year, followed by another 1,000 in 2011. Deutsche Telekom is partnered with Huawei and Samsung. Huawei is involved in setting up the network infrastructure, while Samsung supplies the USB sticks.
The German spectrum auction ran a total of 224 bidding rounds over 27 days in April, 2010. According to German regulator Bundesnetzagentur, the total sum raised from the sale of the 41 frequency blocks was almost €4.4 billion ($5.4 billion). The blocks were sold in four frequency bands: 800MHz (paired); 1.8GHz (paired); 2.0GHz (paired and unpaired); and 2.6GHz (paired and unpaired).
The German auction, like other auctions around the world, split the 2.6GHz (4G) band into two segments; a 140 chunk for paired frequencies and a 50 MHz chunk for unpaired frequencies. Whether the unpaired swath will be used with WiMAX or TD-LTE remains to be seen. T-Mobile was not enthusiastic about unpaired 2.6GHz – they only bought 5 MHz. Other carriers bought 10 or 20 MHz chunks.
In other LTE news, TeliaSonera, which launched the first commercial LTE network in the world, has begun offering LTE services in Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city. By the end of 2010, TeliaSonera plans to cover 25 cities around Sweden. By the end of 2011, their 4G network should be available at over 200 locations.
The Germany government raised $5.5 billion from their spectrum auction, less than expected, while India’s government raised $14.5 billion, more money than predicted. Regulators have abrogated their responsibilities and morphed into profiteering auctioneers, says Bengt Nordstrom in Business Week.