German telecom giant Deutsche Telekom (DT) struck a deal to provide fiber optic backhaul capacity to rival Telefónica Deutschland. That capacity will be used to support current 3G and 4G LTE networks and planned 5G deployments.
The deal will see DT connect at least 5,000 Telefónica Deutschland mobile base stations. Telefónica Deutschland installed 3,000 4G LTE cell sites through the first half of this year.
DT will be responsible for operating and monitoring the fiber optic network. Financial terms were not disclosed, but DT said it would plow the “captured synergy effects” back into its own network expansion.
The carrier was formerly Germany’s state-backed telecom monopoly and thus has the country’s most extensive network assets. Telefónica entered the German market in 2005 when it acquired mmO2.
The fiber optic agreement builds on a previous deal between the two operators signed in 2011. That agreement covered backhaul tied to their respective 3G and 4G LTE plans.
Telefónica Deutschland earlier this year signed a similar deal with NGN Fiber Network KG covering 1,500 cell sites. That followed an agreement with rival Vodafone to share backhaul resources at some of their sites.
Germany’s telecom regulator last month released details on the country’s planned 5G spectrum auction scheduled for next year. GSMA Intelligence recently released a report that European operators would lag behind those in North America and Asia in their 5G deployments.
DT is Germany’s largest mobile operator and also owns a controlling interest in T-Mobile U.S. Telefónica Deutschland, which operates as O2 in the country, is Germany’s third-largest operator. Vodafone is the country’s second-largest operator.
DT announced last month plans to build 1,000 new base stations in the Bavaria region of the country by 2020, and update 1,200 existing sites with new services.
Photo: Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland (left), and Dirk Wössner, Managing Director of Telekom Deutschland (right).