DSL, VDSL, cable Internet and Fibre to the Home – broadband Internet is getting faster and faster. Currently, some households in Germany can get a broadband Internet with data transfer rates of up to 120 mbps (download). On the other hand, there are still dead zones in Germany in which people have to take potluck with narrowband connections or with DSL light with a download speed of up to 384 kbps. But there is hope for people living in the country: Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone are now marketing LTE services in the 800 MHz spectrum band in some parts of Germany without DSL or cable Internet coverage. Here is a short overview of how you can get a 4G Internet connection at home and how much it will cost.
Telekom Call & Surf Comfort via Funk
Telekom Deutschland is marketing its 4G Internet connections now, but interested consumers cannot order the 4G Internet package before April 5th. Interested consumers can register for the new LTE service and will be informed as soon as they can actually order it. The LTE Internet package “Call & Surf Comfort via Funk” will be available for € 39.95 per month ans a one-time set-up fee of € 59.95. “Call & Surf Comfort via Funk Universal” with ISDN features will cost € 43.95 per month. The package includes a broadband Internet connection via LTE or HSPA+ - depending on the region the customers lives in - with data transfer speeds of up to 3 mbps (download) and up to 500 kbps (upload) and a fixed telephony line.
The customers will only get 3 GB data volume per month for downloads and uploads with this speed, though. As soon as he or she has transfered more data volume, the maximum bandwidth will be reduced to 1 mbps (download) for the remaining days of that month. The data transfer speed will be reduced even further to 384 kbps (download) after 5 GB.
Depending on whether the new mobile broadband Internet connection is based on LTE or HSPA+, Telekom will offer one of the two routers Speedport LTE800 and Speedport HSPA for a purchase price of € 129.00. The new 4G Internet packages will only be available with a long minimum term commitment of 24 months. To check where Telekom offers LTE, please check the provider’s website.
Vodafone LTE Zuhause
Vodafone has already launched LTE in the county and offers different bandwidth packages with 3.6 mbps, 7.2 mbps, 21.6 mbps and 50m mbps download speeds and each with a long minimum term commitment of 24 months. Prices for the “LTE Zuhause Internet” packages range from € 29.99 to € 69.99 per month. There ist also a set-up fee of € 24.99 for new customers. Vodafone offers its subscribers LTE mobile broadband dongles for a purchase price of € 1.00 plus a monthly fee of € 2.50 after that.
Like Telekom customers, users of one of the Vodafone LTE tariffs get unlimited access to the web over the LTE network, but data transfer speeds will be reduced as soon as a certain amount of data volume - between 5 GB and 30 GB, depending on the LTE package - and has been used up. For more information on the “Vodafone Zuhause Internet packages” please consult the Vodafone website.
4G Network Expansion Plans
At the mobile frequencies auction, Telekom, Vodafone, E-Plus and O2 Germany together offered 4.38 billion euros. Telekom has announced plans to invest a total of 10 billion euros into the expansion of its networks (fixed and mobile) until the end 2012. Until the end of 2011, Telekom wants to install 1,800 4G stations, in April 2011 it will be approximately 750. By the end of 2010, the telecoms can deliver in about 1000 areas without DSL connection to their customers fast Internet access via mobile technology. Vodafone has announced it will have built up 1,500 LTE stations until March 2011. The first LTE handsets are expected in 2012.
O2 Germany has completed technical trials in Ebersberg, Munich, Teutschenthal and Halle/Saale and aims to offer commercial 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz services. With the LTE package, which is being provided free of charge, the testers can surf the Internet at high speed with up to 100 mbps for six months. In Munich and Halle O2 uses frequencies in the 2.6 GHz range. In the two rural regions, Ebersberg and Teutschenthal, the LTE pilot networks transmit on 800 MHz frequencies that originate from the digital dividend.