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Germany

German cell phones, or like they call them – das Handy (die Handys if there are many of them) use few different mobile phone communication standards for their work. While USA has few incompatible telecommunication standards used for communication systems, Germany has much more sophisticated approach to cell phone communication organization. Like in almost all countries of the Europe, Germany uses GSM frequency bands as their main cell phone communication frequencies. There are four main GSM standards in Germany which compete with each other – D1, D2, E2 and e-plus.

Currently there are two main mobile phone networks in Germany and four main telecommunication companies which use them:


D-Netz

This digital mobile phone network is used by two companies – T-Mobile Deutschland (German company, owned by Deutschland Telekom, uses GSM900 and GSM1800 frequency bands, D1 standard) and Vodafone D2 (British company, uses GSM900 and GSM1800 frequency ranges, D2 standard). D1 and D2 German mobile phone communication standards are in GSM900 band, so T-Mobile and Vodafone use not only D-Netz but E-Netz as well.


E-Netz

This digital cell phone network was started in 1994 and it allows cell phones to use low wattage for their work. This network is used by E-Plus Mobifunk (GSM1800 frequency band, E2 and e-plus standards). As for the fourth mobile phone carrier – O2 Germany (owned by Spanish Telefonica) – they use GSM1800 frequency range too and thus also work in this standard. So this network is used by all major mobile phone companies of Germany.


3G UMTS

These frequency ranges provided by all four major German mobile phone communication companies. 3G frequency bands were auctioned at the beginning of the 2000’s and now Germany has wide 3G access across the country. The 2100MHz frequency band is used as the main 3G band, though German cell phone communication companies gradually integrate 3G services into 900MHz frequency range.


4G LTE

In 2010 Bundesnetzagentur has started auctioning LTE spectrum for 4G communication frequency bands. T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and E-Plus were very interested in acquiring some parts of those bands to create their own 4G LTE services for German people. The main frequency spectrum that was sold and is used for 4G LTE access in Germany is 800MHz, though it is quite possible that other frequency ranges will be added in the future.


Bottom Line

The main frequency spectrum for cell phones in Germany is GSM. Their two main mobile phone communication networks are D-Netz and E-Netz, which consist of D1 and D2 standards of D-Netz and E2 with e-plus standards of E-Netz. The D-Netz network uses GSM900 frequency band for its work while E-Netz use GSM1800 frequency range for its work.

There are 4 major German telecommunication operators and mobile phone service providers: T-Mobile Deutschland, Vodafone D2, O2 Germany and E-Plus Mobifunk. All of them use GSM, 3G and 4G frequency band to provide German people with different kinds of wireless communications. German 3G is represented by 2100MHz UMTS band and is gradually added to the 900MHz band. 4G LTE in Germany works mainly on 800MHz frequency range, though other frequencies might be added sometime later.

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