O2 Germany, a subsidiary of telecoms giant Telefonica, has announced plans to upgrade its 3.5G mobile network to HSPA+ by the second half of 2009. The rollout will begin in Munich, where the cellco’s headquarters are located, allowing theoretical download speeds of up to 28Mbps, although the cellco estimates an average of around 8Mbps. Chinese vendor Huawei has been contracted to provide the network upgrade. Jaime Smith Basterra, CEO of O2 Germany, said: ‘Our cooperation with Huawei has set new standards. Today we see rapid growth of the mobile web. The new technology enables us to make a big step forward into the future this year.’ O2 contracted Huawei in April 2008 for the replacement of existing base stations and the planned construction of more than 8,000 GSM and UMTS cell sites, expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
In another story, Smith Basterra announced at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that O2 Germany is taking over 80 shops in Germany from rival freenet. The cellco currently operates 725 shops and aims to expand to 1,100 locations in the next few years.