Vodafone Germany has announced it has started using its 700MHz frequencies for the deployment of 5G in rural areas of the country. The first locations to be served by the network include Berge (Meschede), Brilon, Olsberg, Bad Wunnenberg and Bad Fredeburg (all in the Hochsauerland), Ulm, Blaustein, Buch and Heroldstatt (all Baden-Wurttemberg), and Muncheberg (Brandenburg). Customers in these locations can access mobile data speeds of up to 200Mbps, with the 700MHz frequencies able to serve a wider area than higher band spectrum and also provide deeper coverage inside buildings. Work has been carried out in cooperation with Swedish equipment partner Ericsson. The new network also utilises Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology, allowing for the rollout of 4G LTE on the same antenna.
Vodafone plans to activate more than 8,000 700MHz 5G antennas at 2,800 locations this year. Alongside its existing 3.5GHz 5G network, which serves urban areas, Vodafone is aiming to increase 5G coverage to ten million people by the end of the year.