BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom said on Thursday its 5G mobile network had gone live in five German cities, timing the launch for maximum impact on the opening day of the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin.
The German market leader paid 2.2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) for 5G spectrum at a recent auction and the regulator has just unlocked access to the 3.6 Gigahertz band that will power its initial 5G offering.
Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Bonn and Darmstadt now offer local 5G services with bandwidth of up to 1 gigabit per second - fast enough to download a movie onto a smartphone in a few seconds.
Hamburg and Leipzig will follow by the end of the year, with 20 German cities to be covered through 2020, Deutsche Telekom said in a statement.
"We are bringing 5G to the streets and will orient ourselves toward our customers' needs," Telekom's chief technology officer Walter Goldenits said. "We will go where the demand for data is greatest."
(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Thomas Seythal)