Telefonica Germany (O2), the local unit of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, plans to expand its Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband network to the country’s largest cities Berlin, Hamburg and Munich by the second quarter of 2012. Bloomberg cites the company’s CEO Rene Schuster as saying at a press event that a further ten cities will be covered by the 4G network during the third quarter of next year. Under a condition of its spectrum licence, Telefonica Germany, which provides services under the brands O2 and Alice, initially had to concentrate on the rollout of LTE in rural areas before it could begin deployment in urban areas. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that the company paid a total of EUR1.38 billion (USD1.83 billion) for eleven blocks of spectrum across the 800MHz, 1800MHz, 2GHz and 2.6GHz bands in the government’s April-May 2010 auction. In June 2011 it began marketing its rural LTE products under the name ‘O2 LTE fur Zuhause’ with a view to commercially launching the 4G network in a number of unserved areas the following month. The rural LTE service utilises 800MHz frequencies and supports download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps.
Meanwhile, Schuster also revealed that Telefonica Germany expects to reach a deal with two other telephony operators on sharing fibre network infrastructure by the end of the year. Such an agreement would reduce the cost of carrying a growing volume of data, the executive said.