Mobile communications: Telekom has the best network, O2 is catching up – digital


Almost 10,000 kilometers in the car, almost 2,100 kilometers by train and 95 hours on foot with a test backpack in the city: For its annual test of the German mobile network, the Computer-Magazin chip again made a lot of effort. The testers were on the road all over the country to find out how the three competing providers are doing – quite apart from their, of course, always super great advertising clips.

The overall winner is Deutsche Telekom. Their customers receive the most and the best connections in cities and especially in rural areas. According to the test, at Telekom, 90 percent of all downloads are faster than 14.14 megabits per second (Mbit / s). Vodafone achieves 8.35 Mbit / s in this discipline, O2 6.95 Mbit / s.


O2, the German subsidiary of the Spanish Telefónica group, has caught up a lot compared to previous years. The provider had to do that too, of course, because the Federal Network Agency faced a hefty fine. When purchasing the frequencies for 4G / LTE, all network operators had committed themselves to conditions for coverage in the area. O2, which had long had to nibble on the merger with E-Plus, was far behind.

Without 4G there is no 5G

This can also be seen in the fact that O2 expanded its mobile network by almost a quarter last year. At Vodafone it was only 6.73, at Telekom 4.82 percent. The main focus is on expanding 4G. These investments are also not, as one might think, badly invested. The new generation of technology 5G is already here, but it is based on 4G. At the moment it is usually the case that the connections are established via 4G and only the data is transported via 5G. In any case, it is not possible to make calls using the new wireless standard; this is done over 4G, or, if all else fails, over 2G.

The now outdated 3G standard will be gone by the end of next year. Telekom and Vodafone will switch off the 20-year-old 3G network at the end of June 2021, O2 at the end of 2021. Customers who still have 3G contracts will then be switched to 4G automatically and at no additional cost. By then, 5G is likely to become an increasingly important topic – no one has reached as many users as quickly as this latest standard.



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