Telefonica Germany became the latest European operator to firm-up plans to commercially launch standalone (SA) 5G, with its network set to cover 90 per cent of the population when switched-on next week.

The operator plans to open the technology to customers on 10 October, with the new service branded 5G Plus. It aims for the network to cover the entire country by end-2025.

Contract customers with compatible Samsung or Xiaomi handsets will be able to access it at launch with the upgrade free of charge.

Telefonica noted the technology would eventually support near real time communications upping experience for advanced applications including AR, VR and mobile gaming.

In a statement, Telefonica claimed users will be the first in the country to be able to access voice-over-new-radio.

The operator’s enterprise arm has already deployed the technology in various private and public sector campuses, but it noted the broader launch will open the door to industries including healthcare.

Rival Vodafone Germany launched its commercial SA network in April 2021, claiming to be the first in Europe.

In an update in mid-August, Vodafone noted the new architecture covered 45 per cent of the population.

Although offering SA for some corporate customers and kitting out some 5G sites, Deutsche Telkom is yet to launch it commercially to consumers.

In a disclosure on a new TV service based on the architecture in September, the company noted it was currently still in the testing phase.