Deutsche Telekom gets ready for LTE-M launch next year
The German carrier is working with partners to develop LTE-M solutions
German carrier Deutsche Telekom confirmed plans to launch LTE-M technology in 2019, the telco said in a statement.
The company, which is already working in the development of LTE-M solutions, recently announced the finalists of the its LTE-M prototyping program at a summit in Vienna, Austria.
The initiative was established by Deutsche Telekom’s in-house tech incubator Hubraum in cooperation with its ICT services arm T-Systems. It builds on already successfully implemented prototyping programs for NB-IoT solutions, the European telco said.
Almost 150 start-ups and IoT specialist companies from across Europe and the U.S. submitted LTE-M-based proposals to the new program. A total of 18 solution partners from 12 countries spanning various industries were selected for further cooperation in prototyping LTE-M use cases. With Deutsche Telekom’s support these companies have implemented LTE-M connectivity and tested the prototypes in either Krakow, Berlin, Reutlingen, Rotterdam or Vienna, where local LTE-M test networks are already available.
The tests were conducted to validate the first LTE-M connections for their prototypes and to further explore commercial aspects, Deutsche Telekom said.
“The summit is the highlight of our prototyping activities and will provide most interesting insights into the business opportunities of LTE-M. We are concurrently working towards first LTE-M network launches in several of our European markets by mid-2019. These will enable our customers to develop and test their LTE-M-based devices and applications,” said Ingo Hofacker, SVP and responsible for the IoT business at Deutsche Telekom.
“LTE-M is an exciting 5G-ready technology and a natural extension of Deutsche Telekom’s Mobile IoT strategy. It completes the IoT landscape as it offers a whole new set of possibilities where other technologies are limited.”
The hubraum LTE-M Prototyping finalists have developed innovative solutions across several industry sectors, most notably in the areas of Smart City, Wearables, E-Health and Smart Tracking.
Last month, the German operator announced plans to launch commercial 5G services in 2020. The group’s CEO Tim Hoettges said the commercial launch will take place in 2020, as long as enough commercial devices are available.
In May 2018, Deutsche Telekom announced the deployment of the first 5G antennas to test the technology in downtown Berlin. The antennas, which are based on 5G New Radio (5G NR), allowed Deutsche Telekom to demonstrate what it claimed to be Europe’s first 5G data connection over a live network. The telco said that it is currently in process to deploy a 5G cluster in Berlin.