Deutsche Telekom unveils Open RAN rollout target

Ray Le Maistre
By Ray Le Maistre

Dec 13, 2023

At the Telekom Network Day 2023 (left to right): Group CTO Abdu Mudesir, board members Claudia Nemat and Srini Gopalan, and Wolfgang Metze, Director Private Customers at Telekom Deutschland. Credit: Deutsche Telekom, photo by Norbert Ittermann.

At the Telekom Network Day 2023 (left to right): Group CTO Abdu Mudesir, board members Claudia Nemat and Srini Gopalan, and Wolfgang Metze, Director Private Customers at Telekom Deutschland. Credit: Deutsche Telekom, photo by Norbert Ittermann.

  • Deutsche Telekom has just held its annual Network Day
  • It provided updates on its infrastructure progress and plans
  • The giant German telco aims to deploy Open RAN technology at more than 3,000 sites across Germany within three years
  • It also updated on its 5G and FTTP rollouts and its use of AI

Deutsche Telekom provided an update on its communications infrastructure deployment progress during its Telekom Network Day this week, including a plan to deploy more than 3,000 Open RAN-compatible antenna sites across Germany by the end of 2026. 

The news of that target came only days after the giant German operator started its commercial Open RAN rollout with Nokia and Fujitsu as its main technology suppliers, though it isn’t sharing how many sites the initial multivendor rollout covers. 

"Open RAN increases the choice of manufacturers and therefore our flexibility,” stated Claudia Nemat, the telco’s board member for technology and innovation. “The open access network enables more automation and makes our networks even more resilient. This benefits the people that our mobile network connects," she added. 

DT, which along with Orange, Telecom Italia (TIM), Telefónica and Vodafone Group is striving to develop a regional Open RAN ecosystem across Europe, has plans for Open RAN rollouts in other European markets, and has already announced its intention to work with Mavenir on a rollout in one as yet unspecified market, but is not yet ready to share any detailed plans or timescales. 

Still with its mobile infrastructure, DT noted in its update that it has now deployed more than 80,000 5G antennas that are covering 96% of the German population (more than 80 million people) with 5G service availability: It aims to increase that 5G coverage to 99% of the country’s population by 2025. 

In its fixed access network, DT has invested €2.5bn in the expansion of its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure, which now reaches 8 million homes and businesses. The operator expects its fibre broadband customer base to reach 1 million in early 2024. 

And no technology update would be complete these days without a reference to artificial intelligence (AI), which is already being used by Deutsche Telekom in its fixed network planning and mobile network monitoring and capacity management. 

In addition, DT is one of the founding members of the Global Telco AI Alliance and is working with SK Telecom on the development of a telco-specific large language model (LLM), which promises to make generative AI (GenAI) developments easier and quicker for operators. 

And earlier this year, it was Deutsche Telekom’s VP of technology strategy, Ahmed Hafez, who co-hosted the ‘Creating a framework for the AI-native telco’ session at TelecomTV’s DSP Leaders World Forum – see Towards the AI-native telco.

"We want to exploit the enormous opportunities offered by AI without being naive about the risks,” stated Nemat. “We want to educate people about both and be a technology pioneer at the same time by developing and using human-centred AI and letting our customers participate in it. I believe in Germany as a republic of AI opportunities!" she concluded. 

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.