5G network coverage in Germany: This is the status

5G network coverage in Germany: This is the status

Fast internet was not a matter of course in Germany for a long time. To change that, mobile phone providers have invested more money in network expansion in recent years. Before you conclude a 5G mobile phone contract, it is still worth taking a look at the current status of 5G network coverage.

The major mobile phone providers in Germany provide information about their current 5G network expansion. Interactive maps with zoom and search functions give you a quick overview. If the area from where you live to where you work is covered by your network operator's 5G network, you might consider switching to a 5G-enabled smartphone. In the meantime there is even 5G+. We will also tell you here what this is all about.

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New standard: The difference between 5G and 5G+

Das 5G-Netz: Mobiles Internet für alle Geräte

The 5G network: fast internet for all devices. Image: © Pixabay / Mohamed Hassan 2022

5G+ or 5G-SA is the true new fifth-generation mobile communications standard. SA stands for Standalone (in German: autonomous), as it is no longer based on the previous 4G (LTE) system.

The currently expanded 5G network is still connected to the widespread LTE network. A process called NSA, Non-Standalone. This should accelerate the 5G network expansion in Germany. With the new 5G+ standard, on the other hand, a completely new mobile radio system will be set up.

This makes mobile Internet more energy-efficient and faster. The new 5G+ technology consumes up to 20 percent less power than 5G. But 5G can already transport much larger amounts of data than 4G on the basis of the existing LTE technology.

With 5G, speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second are already being achieved. A nationwide 5G+ network should be able to achieve ten times that in the future. This is also necessary for the increasing number of end devices that log into the mobile network at the same time. Even vehicles and kitchen appliances join them.

5G networks: Telekom and Vodafone are that far

Stand der 5G-Netzabdeckung in Deutschland

Mobile phone masts: the cornerstone of 5G network coverage in Germany. Image: © Pixabay / F. Muhammad 2022

If you actively use the 5G standard outside of the metropolitan areas, you will notice more and more often that the connection is no longer fast. That should be the case at least in the networks of the two major mobile phone providers.

Telekom writes that it already covers 94 percent of German households with 5G. Telekom does not provide any detailed information on the status of the expansion of 5G+.

According to its own statements, competitor Vodafone has a 5G network coverage of 75 percent of the inhabited areas in Germany.

In contrast to Telekom, however, Vodafone is increasingly focusing on rapid expansion with the 5G+ standalone system. Thanks to these ambitions, 25 percent of the inhabited area is already covered with the new 5G+ mobile communications standard.

The 5G network expansion of o2 and 1&1

Zuerst in Ballungsräumen: Die 5G-Netzabdeckung

First in metropolitan areas: Network coverage with 5G takes time. Image: © Pixabay / Roman 2022

Telefónica's progress cannot keep up with that of Telekom and Vodafone. With its o2 brand, however, the Spanish company is aiming for a full 5G network expansion by 2025.

Telefónica currently has 5G coverage of 75 percent of all households in Germany. A look at the network map of the mobile phone provider also reveals that these are primarily metropolitan areas. In rural areas, 5G from o2 is still in short supply in many places.

As a newcomer among German mobile operators, 1&1 AG would also like to get involved. So far, the company has only been active as a third-party provider in mobile communications. At the auction of 5G frequencies in 2019, 1&1 got hold of a full license and has been building its own network ever since.

However, the expansion of the 5G network is more sluggish for 1&1 than for the competition because it cannot fall back on an existing LTE infrastructure. 1&1 wants to supply the first 1,000 locations with the 5G+ standard by summer 2023.

Step by step: check the provider's 5G network coverage

Sendemast für schnelles Internet auf einem Berg

Indispensable for fast internet: Transmission masts form mobile phone networks. Image: © Pixabay / Sergio Huainigg 2022

Telecom (D1)

  1. Call up the overview map of the Telekom network coverage
  2. Deselect "2G/GSM/GPRS/EDGE" and "4G/LTE" in the mobile network legend, select "5G".
  3. Show the desired location on the map:
    • Enter the address or location in the search field and click on the magnifying glass
    • Or navigate to the location by controlling the map with the zoom function
  4. Dark areas are covered by Telekom's 5G network

Vodafone (D2)

  1. View Vodafone network coverage in the browser
  2. Click on the "Show me the network map" link on the website – an overlay window with a map will open
  3. Click on the mobile phone symbol in the legend, only "5G" should be checked
  4. Show the desired location on the map:
    • Enter the address or location in the search field above the map and select from the list
    • Or navigate to the location using the map controls
  5. Areas colored dark red are covered by the Vodafone 5G network

Telefonica (o2)

  1. Go to the o2 coverage website
  2. Show the desired location on the map:
    • Enter the address or location in the "Network coverage" section and click on the magnifying glass
    • Or navigate directly to the location on the map
  3. Click the 5G button in the map legend
  4. Don't be alarmed: The o2 network coverage is only displayed in a higher zoom level, zoom in further if necessary
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