Telefonica Germany (O2), the local subsidiary of Spanish telecoms group Telefonica, has unveiled its tariffs for its urban 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband service, ahead of a commercial launch of the network on 3 July 2012. Initial coverage will be focused in Nuremberg and Dresden, shortly followed by Munich and Leipzig. Prices for the company’s O2 Go Surf Flat data tariffs for laptop and tablet users start at EUR14.99 (USD19) per month, with the top-end 50Mbps download speed option costing EUR44.99, including 10GB of data per month. For smartphone users, O2’s Blue M and L tariffs can be upgraded to enable LTE with the ‘Surf Upgrade’ for an additional monthly cost. At launch, Telefonica is offering the HTC ONE XL and LG True HD LTE smartphones, as well as the O2 LTE 4G surfstick from ZTE and the Asus Transformer 300 tablet. ‘With O2 LTE 4G, customers can surf at speeds of up to 50Mbps’, noted Peter Rampling, managing director of marketing, adding: ‘Customers will also recognise the advantages of LTE in the extremely short response times, which become noticeable during fast website development or when streaming music and videos, for example.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states Telefonica Germany paid a total of EUR1.38 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, the company had to initially concentrate on the rollout of LTE in rural locations before it could begin deployment in urban areas. In June 2011 Telefonica 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.