Telefonica Germany has begun marketing its Long Term Evolution (LTE) products with a view to commercially launching the 4G network in rural areas on 1 July 2011. Two mobile broadband products, both marketed under the name ‘O2 LTE fur Zuhause’, can be ordered for private and small business customers in regions currently without broadband access of any kind from early June. On 1 July the LTE service will be available in several rural communities, including Oberreichenbach in the Black Forest, Abtsteinach/Bergstraße and Zscherben in Saxony-Anhalt. Other rural areas, such as Wanzleben and Alsleben in Saxony-Anhalt, will be connected to the 4G network over the following weeks. ‘O2 LTE fur Zuhause’ utilises 800MHz frequencies acquired by Telefonica Germany in the country’s mobile spectrum auction, which concluded in May 2010.
‘O2 LTE fur Zuhause’ supports download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and will cost EUR29.90 (USD42.7) per month for the first six months and EUR39.90 per month thereafter. Private customers have a 10GB monthly usage allowance at full speed; if this threshold is exceeded then the data transfer reverts to the UMTS speed of 384kbps. Meanwhile, ‘O2 LTE fur Zuhause’ for freelancers, self-employed workers and small businesses includes 12GB of data per month at 7.2Mbps. The connection fee is EUR49.90, with a 24-month contract, while an LTE wireless router is available from Telefonica Germany for EUR49.90. Each customer can test the new broadband at home for a period of 30 days; during this period they can cancel at any time and get their money back for the WLAN router.