Telefonica Germany (O2), the local subsidiary of Spanish telecoms group Telefonica, has announced it plans to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband services in urban parts of the country on 2 July 2012. Initial coverage will be focused in the country’s main cities and regions, including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dresden, Hanover, Leipzig, Nuremberg and the Rhine-Ruhr region, but by the end of the year the 4G network, which supports maximum download speeds of up to 50Mbps, will be available in around 200 towns and cities. Telefonica Germany added that a number of LTE tariffs will be on offer for a variety of devices, including USB modems, tablets, netbooks and at least two smartphones. 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. 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. 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.