Deutsche Telekom reported 5,000 antennas are now compatible with standalone (SA) 5G in the 3.6GHz band, although the German operator is yet to reveal when it will commercially launch the advanced service.
In a statement, Deutsche Telekom noted it added 350 new sites to its SA 5G footprint in recent weeks, raising the total number of sites to 1,700. It further noted the technology is now available in more than 200 urban areas and cities.
Around 64,000 antennas in Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network support 5G services, including those using 2.1GHz spectrum. The operator deployed dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology in this band to enable frequencies to be shared with 4G services.
In February, Telekom Deutschland CTO Walter Goldenits indicated the operator would be launching SA 5G sometime in 2022. He also noted the operator would be deploying 700MHz frequencies this year for the faster 5G variant.
Vodafone Germany, meanwhile launched SA 5G services, introducing the service in March and stating more than 10 million customers could use it at home.
Elsewhere, a lack of compatible smartphones remains a key obstacle to SA 5G deployments.
Last month, the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reported only around 20 operators worldwide had deployed or launched SA 5G in public networks.
By the end of February, GSA had identified 707 announced devices compatible with SA 5G in sub-6 GHz bands, of which 520 were commercially available.
However, the GSA noted not all devices are available immediately and specification details remain limited for some.