Internet in Germany
In Germany, DSL is the prevalent internet access technology with over 30 million subscribers. For residential services the Annex B versions of ADSL, ADSL2+, and VDSL2 are used. With over 12 million customers the incumbent Deutsche Telekom is the market leader. Other DSL providers either operate their own hardware on local loops rented from the incumbent in a local loop unbundling (LLU) arrangement, and/or purchase bit-stream access from a provider that operates DSL hardware.
As of January 2014, a typical monthly cost for "dual flatrate" internet and telephone service is €25 for ADSL2+ (16 Mbit/s downlink, 1 Mbit/s uplink) and €30 for VDSL2 (50 Mbit/s downlink, 10 Mbit/s uplink). Some of the major nation-wide DSL providers are:
Providers such as Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone also offer DSL-based triple play services with IPTV, which requires at least 16 Mbit/s for HD quality.
Starting in 2013, all newly deployed Deutsche Telekom VDSL2 nodes support G.vector technology. Beginning in August 2014, vectored VDSL2 service with data rates of up to 100 Mbit/s downlink and 40 Mbit/s uplink is available from Deutsche Telekom. Deutsche Telekom is planning to introduce 500 Mbit/s service using G.fast in 2015 at the earliest.
While DSL is the prevalent connection technology in Germany, other technologies may offer lower prices or better availability and speed.
Internet via cable is offered i.a. by Kabel Deutschland and Unitymedia/Kabel BW (separated geographically). The available download speed is between 10 and 150 Mbit/s. A typical 2-year tariff with 100Mbit/s internet and telephone costs about €35 per month, with additional HD cable TV about €60.
FTTH and FTTB
Deutsche Telekom started offering FTTH/FTTB in select regions in 2011, with up to 200 Mbit/s downstream and 100 Mbit/s upstream. As of January 2014, Deutsche Telekom FTTH was available in 884,000 households, at a price point of €55 for 100 Mbit/s and €60 for 200 Mbit/s service. Regional providers also offer FTTH/FTTB services, e.g. M-Net in Munich, wilhelm.tel (de) in Hamburg, NetCologne in Cologne, and NetAachen (de) in Aachen.
Satellite internet is geographically more widely available than land-based technologies. In places where land-based internet access technology (DSL, cable, FTTx) is not available, satellite and UMTS/LTE are the primary means of high-speed internet access. As opposed to UMTS/LTE, satellite internet providers offer flatrates.
UMTS/HSDPA and LTE
Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone offer fixed location internet service on their UMTS and LTE networks. As of January 2014, there are no flatrates available. The included data volume is generally higher for fixed location service than for mobile service at the same price point. As of January 2014, both Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone limit the speed to 384 kbit/s after the data volume of between 10 and 25 GB is used up.
UMTS/HSDPA with up to 42.2 Mbit/s and LTE with up to 150 Mbit/s is offered by all four network operators: Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, o2, and E-Plus. In 2013, Chip measured average downstream UMTS/GPRS data rates of between 2.4 and 7.9 Mbit/s and average downstream LTE/UMTS/GPRS data rates of between 3.2 and 16.0 Mbit/s, depending on both provider and location (rural vs. city). In the same test, LTE coverage was measured at between 15% and 80%, depending on provider and location (rural vs. city). A typical 2-year contract with 2GB of LTE speed, unlimited minutes and texts costs around €40.
Until 1995, Deutsche Telekom (DTAG) was a government corporation linked with Deutsche Bundespost. As a government run and owned corporation, Deutsche Telekom was the monopoly ISP until its privatization in 1995, and the dominant ISP thereafter. Until the 21st century, Deutsche Telekom controlled almost all Internet access by individuals and small businesses.
Prior to the introduction of DSL and cable internet, voice-band modems and ISDN BRI were the most common residential internet access technologies. ISDN was widespread, with 333 ISDN BRIs per 1000 persons in 2005. DSL was introduced in Germany by Deutsche Telekom on July 1, 1999 under the brand name T-DSL, with 768 kbit/s downstream and 128 kbit/s upstream. T-DSL speeds were increased by Deutsche Telekom to 1536/192 kbit/s upstream/downstream in September 2002, 3072/384 kbit/s in April 2004, and 6016/576 kbit/s in mid-2005. Deutsche Telekom introduced ADSL2+ service with 16000/1024 kbit/s in spring 2006 and VDSL2 with 50000/10000 kbit/s triple play service under the brand name Entertain in October 2006. VDSL2 service without bundled IPTV was introduced in June 2009. In 2011, Deutsche Telekom introduced Voice over IP (VoIP) services over ADSL2+ Annex J. In February 2013, Deutsche Telekom started switching existing POTS and ISDN voice service subscribers to VoIP service. In August 2014, Deutsche Telekom became the first service provider to offer vectored VDSL2 using G.vector technology, offering 100/40 Mbit/s.
In 1998, the Federal Network Agency established regulations for local loop unbundling, enabling providers such as Vodafone, Telefónica Germany, QSC, and Versatel to rent the local loop from the incumbent Deutsche Telekom and to operate their own access networks, placing their DSLAMs either in their own central offices (CO) or co-located with the incumbent's. These ISPs either offered their services directly to the subscriber, or sold bit-stream access to other ISPs. To compete with the incumbent's POTS and ISDN voice services, alternative providers introduced voice over IP (VoIP) bundled with their DSL internet services under the name Komplettanschluss. Starting in 2004, Deutsche Telekom provided IP-level bitstream access to other providers under the name T-DSL resale. The "resold" T-DSL was only available to subscribers of Deutsche Telekom's POTS/ISDN service. In July 2008, Deutsche Telekom introduced bitstream access which does not require the incumbent's POTS/ISDN service, enabling competing ISPs to provide combined internet and VoIP service (Komplettanschluss) on Deutsche Telekom-operated local loops.
Cable internet access in Germany began with pilot projects in December 2003 and wide deployment followed in late 2004. A number of political reasons prevented an earlier market adoption of cable internet in Germany. Until 2001, Deutsche Telekom was the monopoly owner of the German coax cable network, and had no intention to offer in-house competition to its DSL service. Pressure from regulatory agencies forced Deutsche Telekom to sell its cable network, however Deutsche Telekom took measures to delay a possible cable internet offering.
LTE internet access was introduced by Deutsche Telekom in 2010 and by Vodafone in 2011. As part of the 2010 spectrum auction, the regulatory agency BNetzA required bidders to use the spectrum to provide broadband internet access to regions with only limited land-line broadband (DSL, cable, FTTH) access. For the purpose of land-line broadband replacement, Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone introduced fixed location LTE service.
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- "Vertragsrechner Festnetz Telefon und Internet via VDSL, DSL, Breitbandkabel (16000+)" [Cost calculator for telephone and Internet via VDSL, DSL, cable (16000+)] (in German). teltarif.de. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- "Vertragsrechner Festnetz Telefon und Internet via VDSL, DSL, Breitbandkabel (50000+)" [Cost calculator for telephone and Internet via VDSL, DSL, cable (50000+)] (in German). teltarif.de. Retrieved 2014-01-05.
- Neuhetzki, Thorsten (2013-11-18). "Telekom: Erste Städte "ready" für schnelles Internet mit 100 MBit/s" [First cities are "ready" for speedy 100 MBit/s Internet] (in German). teltarif.de. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- Neuhetzki, Thorsten (2014-08-28). "Telekom: Schnelles Internet mit VDSL 100 ab heute in 20 Ortsnetzen möglich" [Deutsche Telekom: Fast internet with VDSL 100 now available in 20 exchange areas] (in German). teltarif.de. Retrieved 2014-08-29.
- Deutschbein, Rita (2014-02-15). "Mehr Tempo in Kupferleitungen: Telekom will G.fast-Technik noch dieses Jahr testen" [More speed via copper: Telekom to test G.fast technology this year] (in German). teltarif.de. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "Internet & Telefon: 2play Kombipakete von Unitymedia" [Internet & Telephone: 2play Packages from Unitymedia] (in German). Unitymedia. Retrieved 2014-02-18.}
- "Internet TV Telefon: 3play Kombipakete von Unitymedia" [Internet TV Telephone: 3play packages from Unitymedia] (in German). Unitymedia. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- Neuhetzki, Thorsten (2011-04-07). "FTTH: Glasfaser-Anschluss der Telekom kostet offenbar 54,95 Euro" [FTTH: Fiber optic Internet from Deutsche Telekom is apparently going to cost 54.95 Euro] (in German). teltarif.de. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- Sawall, Achim (2014-01-03). "Deutschland braucht das schnellste Netz der Welt" [Germany needs the world's fastest network] (in German). golem.de. Retrieved 2014-01-04.}
- "Call & Surf Comfort Pakete" [Call & Surf Comfort packages] (in German). Deutsche Telekom. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "skyDSL2+ FLAT S". skyDSL Flat, Tarife und Tarifübersicht (in German). skyDSL Deutschland. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "Call & Surf via 3G/4G" (in German). Deutsche Telekom. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "Vodafone RealLTE". Vodafone. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "Der härteste Handy-Netztest Deutschlands: Telekom, Vodafone, O2 und E-Plus im Test" [The toughest mobile network test in Germany: Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, O2, and E-Plus under test] (in German). chip.de. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "o2 Blue All-in L" (in German). Telefónica Germany. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- "Handytarife-Rechner für mobiles Telefonieren, SMS und mobiles Internet" [Cost calculator for mobile telephone, SMS, and Internet (voice flat, text flat, 2GB)] (in German). teltarif.de. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
- Waesche, Niko Marcel (2003). Internet Entrepreneurship in Europe: Venture Failure and the Timing of Telecommunications Reform. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 162–164. ISBN 978-1-84376-135-8.
- "ISDN-Verbreitung" [ISDN market adoption] (PDF), Studie (in German) (DE: BMBF), archived from the original on 2008-10-02
- de:DSL (Telekom)
- de:Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line#VDSL2 in Deutschland
- Mansmann, Urs (2012-02-21). "Telekom beginnt mit Umstellung herkömmlicher Telefonanschlüsse auf VoIP" [Deutsche Telekom starts transitioning POTS service to VoIP] (in German). heise.de. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
- de:Kabel Deutschland#Geschichte
- de:Netzebene (Kabelfernsehen)#Betreiber und neuere Entwicklung
- de:Digitale Dividende