O2: Telefónica is also expanding its 5G network via radio relay
Photo: Telefónica Germany

For the rapid expansion of capabilities in the cellular network, O2 / Telefónica intends to rely on the radio relay in the future to provide radio masts in rural areas with a fast connection away from the usual optical fibers. The E-band directional radio provides capabilities for 5G on the mast.

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In rolling out 4G and 5G, Telefónica mainly relies on connecting cell phone towers using optical fibers. This procedure is also standard on Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone and ensures sufficient capacity in the radio cell. In the future, however, the network operator Telefónica will always want to use a wireless relay anywhere that no fiber-optic infrastructure will be available in the foreseeable future. This primarily refers to cell phone towers in rural areas.

Directional radio for remote locations

Meanwhile, technological advances in directional radio have made it possible to connect a mobile radio station using directional radio in the E band at 80 GHz with very high bandwidth and several gigabits per second, Telefónica explains. Competitor Telekom demonstrates how to set up a directive radio link An extreme example 64 km from Cuxhaven to Helgoland.

5G coverage by 50% by the end of 2022

Compared to connecting all masts with optical fibers, directional radio brings with it higher flexibility as well as cost and time savings and supports the company in expanding the 5G network, it was said today. Telefónica wants to be able to provide the entire population of Germany with 5G with an O2 network by 2025. At the end of this year, according to current statistics, the share was 30 percent, and the 50 percent mark should be reached by the end of next year.

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For directional radio, Telefónica relies on the E band at 80 GHz, which spreads from 60 to 90 GHz. Answers to queries about the exact bandwidth that Telefónica provides and what speeds a connection can achieve in both directions are currently pending. The electronic band is also used in the Starlink satellite internet along with the Ku and Ka bands.


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