DT to deploy first 5G SA site connected to SA core network

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Germany’s largest operator says it is the first in the country to do so.

Deutsche Telekom (DT) has set up its first 5G stand-alone (SA) antenna site in the town of Garching near Munich, which will be the first to be linked to a 5G SA core network, which has a cloud-based 5G architecture.

DT’s 5G deployment so far in Germany – which covers 68% of the population – is based on the 5G Non-Standalone (5G NSA) network architecture which virtually "piggybacks" on the 4G/LTE infrastructure, and cannot function without it.

Gaining experience

"5G standalone is one of the goals for us with 5G," said Walter Goldenits, Head of Technology at DT (pictured). "The network innovation in Garching is initially the first step for us into the 5G SA live network.

"It helps us to gain necessary and important experience with 5G SA. A rollout in the area will then also depend on the requirements of our customers. Technology and the market will play a joint role in further development."

As yet, there are no consumer devices that support 5G standalone technology, so DT is conducting the first tests running development software on commercially available devices.

The goal is to test various connections and applications that function completely standalone and without the support of 4G in the coming weeks.

"The further roll-out of 5G is the preparation of our network for the next steps in 5G development. We will use every opportunity to make 5G even faster and develop it further," said Goldenits.