Deutsche Telekom announced on Friday that it has signed a cooperation agreement with Gigabit Region Stuttgart to expand and upgrade its fiber-optic network.
The agreement is taking aim at expanding high-speed internet services as well as plugging gaps in the mobile network in preparation for a pilot launch of 5G.
The expansion area covered in the agreement includes 174 municipalities in the city of Stuttgart as well as five neighboring districts. All told, there are around 2.8 million people in the agreement's footprint as well as 140,000 businesses. By 2025, 99% of the population will be able to use LTE in the area thanks to the upgrade of the fiber.
The Stuttgart region and Deutsche Telekom announced their joint expansion targets last July. Through 2030, the plan is for 90% of the households to benefit from the expansion. Over the same period, Deutsche Telekom and the municipalities are planning joint investments running into billions.
Taking a page from Google Fiber's early fiber deployments, residents in the footprint that the agreement covers have to opt for a fiber-optic line beforehand. Before embarking on the expansion, DT determines the demand based on its pre-marketing efforts.
“The many conversations locally have paid off," said Deutsche Telekom Deutschland Managing Director Dirk Wössner, in a statement. "They have given rise to an agreement that we are now bringing to life. We are keen to get started. And, when we do, we are counting on the support of residents and local decision-makers. To digitalize Germany, we need the kind of conditions that allow us to roll out the fiber optic fast – jointly, pragmatically, unbureaucratically. There is still quite a bit to do in this respect.”