In January, 1&1 launched 5G services via FWA technology in Frankfurt and Karlsruhe
German operator 1&1 confirmed that the first interim target to deploy 1,000 antennas for the provision of mobile 5G services will be reached during this year, the telco said in its annual report. The telco also said it remains confident that it will achieve coverage of 50% of German households with 5G technology before the end of 2030.
“After our most important expansion partner in terms of volume for the antenna sites surprised us in September 2022 with the news that it would not be able to fulfill its contractual obligations on time, we redesigned the rollout process and tightened up the contracts. We engaged Eubanet, that joined ATC, Vantage Towers and GfTD as another well-known partner for the acquisition of as many as 7,500 antenna sites in December 2022. Together with our four expansion partners, we will do everything in our power to expand our passive network infrastructure as well as quickly as possible,” the German telco said.
In January, 1&1 launched 5G services via fixed wireless access (FWA) technology in Frankfurt and Karlsruhe. The new offering, dubbed “5G at home,” is a replacement for conventional DSL, fiber optic or cable internet connections. 1&1 said it will initially offer three different packages with tariffs ranging from 20 to 40 euros. All tariffs offer up to 500 Mbps in download and up to 40 Mbps in upload speeds.
In August 2022, 1&1 said it had completed the first live test in its new 5G network. In the tests, 1&1 said that it achieved speeds of over 1 Gbps and stable data transfers of around 8 terabytes per customer within 24 hours.
“[5G] [m]obile services will be activated as scheduled in summer 2023. At that time, Telefónica will provide us with the national roaming service that they are developing parallel to our network rollout, which will enable us to offer to our customers, full-area reception even during the network rollout phase. We will also reliably provide mobile services to our customers when they are abroad,” the company added.
“1&1’s acquisition of 5G frequencies in the bandwidths 2 GHz and 3.6 GHZ in 2019 laid the foundation for the company’s construction of its own 1&1 O-RAN mobile network. While the frequency blocks in the 3.6 GHz bandwidth are already available, the frequency blocks in the 2 GHz bandwidth will not become available until January 1, 2026. To bridge this period, 1&1 has leased additional frequencies in the 2.6 GHz bandwidth from Telefónica until its own frequencies become available.”
1&1 had previously selected Japanese company Rakuten Group to design, build and operate a fully virtualized mobile network based O-RAN technology. In August 2021, 1&1 and Rakuten Group announced a long-term partnership to build the former’s mobile network in Germany. Through this deal, Rakuten became the general contractor for the 1&1 mobile network.