GSM, UMTS and LTE Coverage in Germany

Here's two links today that give a very interesting overview of GSM, UMTS and LTE coverage in Germany today from two of the four network operators. I've chosen to link those two, because Vodafone and T-Mobile have built up significant LTE coverage over the past 18 months, especially in rural areas to bring high speed Internet coverage to small towns and villages. This was part of the license conditions for the 800 MHz digital dividend band and as can be seen on the maps it has born fruit.

On the T-Mobile map one can also see LTE coverage that will be switched on soon, most of it in big cities this time. The special thing about the Vodafone map is that UMTS and LTE coverage can be shown separately or together on the map and it's interesting to observe how LTE fills the gaps in UMTS coverage. 

I've been saving screenshots those coverage maps for years and it is quite interesting to see how 3G coverage expanded over the years. Initial 3G deployments looked quite different from the initial LTE deployments now as at that time, it was the big cities that were covered first rather than rural areas. This time around, license conditions have made the picture different and also, 3G in big cities with HSPA+, 64QAM and Dual Carrier extensions still has ample capacity to serve the needs there so there was no disadvantage to go for rural coverage first where often, only 2G was available.

3 thoughts on “GSM, UMTS and LTE Coverage in Germany”

  1. EDGE coverage is present in rural areas but not in city centres like Hamburg, Bremen. Why is it so?

  2. Hi

    Interesting. I looked at the coverage map for Vodaphone. In my village we have LTE outdoor coverage where there are buildings, ie inside the village. Outside the village where there are open fields and no buildings we have indoor coverage..

    Also I have been told that at t-mobile, coverage is not enough for them to sell a LTE subscription. You have to have no or really poor DSL connection. So the coverage map should also contain a DSL coverage map (if such a thing exist)


  3. since most phones both support EDGE and UMTS I think the phone companies chose to upgrade their equipment in the city centres to support UMTS without keeping support for EDGE, which would be redundant because all phones would use the UMTS link in those areas.

    Since upgrading all cell towers in rural areas to UMTS will be expensive, and a lot less people make use of the connection in those areas, phone companies are less likely to upgrade their equipment there and keep EDGE.

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