Telefonica Deutschland has comprehensive plans for a sweeping shut down of its 3G network starting in July, making it the last operator in Germany to phase out legacy technologies in favor of 4G and 5G. Approximately 16,000 3G sites are scheduled to be shut down by the company.
The resources that were needed for 3G will now be repurposed for the 4G network by the end of the year. According to the operator, 4G will use the frequencies of current 3G transmitters at 2,100 MHz. This upgrade from 3G to 4G will benefit Telefónica Deutschland’s customers, as well as customers of its other brands, providing a better and faster network.
A full upgrade of the first 500 3G sites will begin on July 1st. An additional 1000 sites will be repurposed two weeks later. The regions where the upgrade will begin are Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Another 9500 sites will be repurposed by the end of September, resulting in two-thirds of all previous 3G sites being able to offer full 4G coverage by the end of the summer. The last 4,500 or so 3G sites will be shut down by early December.
Markus Haas, CEO of Telefónica Deutschland, commented: “More than 20 years ago, we paved the way for mobile data usage in our country with 3G. In the meantime, this technology is getting on in years, so we are replacing it by the end of the year. The future of digital networking for business and consumers will then belong solely to 4G and, above all, 5G.”
The company first announced the complete shutdown of the 3G network in November 2020 and this initiative is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021, one year earlier than originally planned.