O2 Germany preps markets for commercial LTE service

Rural broadband services in Germany will be boosted next month when O2 launches its 800MHz LTE network. The company, which has been trialling the technology in areas around Munich for over six months, said it will initially target residential and small business users in the Black Forest and Saxony-Anhalt areas.

The service, which will be marketed under the name "O2 LTE für Zuhause (at Home)", will offer download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps for a per month charge of €39.90 (discounted to €29.90 for the first six months). The package includes 10GB per month for residential customers and 12GB per month for small business users, with download speeds being reduced to 384Kbps if these data caps are exceeded during the month.

"With O2 LTE für Zuhause rural areas will finally have fast Internet access as well," René Schuster, CEO of Telefónica O2 Germany, said in a statement. "Video streaming, fast downloads and online computer games are no longer an issue in rural areas."

However, O2 Germany, which will be using Huawei equipment to launch the service, is behind Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom (DT) in commercialising LTE--Vodafone went live in December 2010 followed a few months later by DT.

All three operators will be using the 800MHz spectrum for their initial LTE services--as per the licence conditions--prior to deploying the technology in more densely populated, and profitable, areas.

For more:
- see this Telegeography article
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)
- see this Telecoms.com article

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