D network

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After the A , B and C network of the Deutsche Bundespost , the D network ( radio telephone network D ) became a multi-service (transmission of voice, text and data), cellular, digital mobile radio system in the GSM 900 frequency range with cross-border usage options, the based on the European GSM standard.


The GSM standard was supported by more than 200 countries worldwide in 2005. So-called roaming agreements make it possible to take your mobile phone with you across borders in more than 130 countries around the world and to make calls and be available from there. The D networks with digitized transmission of radio calls were introduced in July 1992. 10 million participants were expected across Europe.

Country specifics


In Germany, the D network is a digital, telephony-oriented cellular network based on the GSM standard in the 900 MHz range, which was set up in 1991.


A-Netz B-Netz C-Netz D-Netz E-Netz Universal Mobile Telecommunications System Long Term Evolution LTE-Advanced 5G

In 1982 the Groupe Spécial Mobile (GSM) was founded to develop a standardized digital mobile radio system for Europe. When the practical implementation of the standard became apparent at the end of the 1980s, the German Post Minister Christian Schwarz-Schilling decided that in addition to the Federal Post Office , a private provider should also receive a license to operate a network of the GSM standard. In the tendering process it was specified that there should be fair competitive conditions between the two operators. A total of ten companies applied for the license, which was finally awarded on December 7, 1989 to a consortium led by the Mannesmann Group , which, in the opinion of the Mobile Communications Steering Committee, was the best performing applicant. Involved in this consortium was the German cooperative bank , the British company Cable & Wireless , the French utility company Lyonnaise des Eaux , the US company Pacific Telesis and the Central Association of the automotive trade and the Central Association of the electrical trade . This created a competitive situation for the first time in the history of the German telecommunications market. Both competitors were completely free in terms of pricing. The technical prerequisite was the comprehensive construction of digital switching centers that Mannesmann was allowed to use. After reunification , the licenses were extended to the territory of the former GDR .

After a one-year trial phase, regular operation began on July 1, 1992. As the immediate successor to the C network , the new network was named "D network".

D1 network

The D1 network was Telekom Deutschland's mobile radio system (previous name: T-Mobile; DeTeMobil), which, according to the operator, is "almost bug-proof". That is the reason why the operators of the digital D-networks were forced by the federal government to program an interception interface for the "services" . T-MobilNet has offered a "Global Roam" service since 1995; Thanks to a cooperation with the US mobile operator GTE , D1 customers in the USA and Canada can be reached with a separate device under their usual D1 number. In April 1993, Telekom named 130,000 participants.

D2 network

The D2 network (D2 private) was the mobile radio system of Mannesmann Mobilfunk, later Vodafone D2 . It was the first telephone network from a private provider to compete with the Bundespost Telekom . At CeBIT 1991, the company privately announced the digital network D2 , which was available as planned from 1992. The mobile phones were initially offered through television dealers and department stores at a price of just under DM 3,000  . With around 200 antenna stations, D2 was initially present in several major German cities such as Hamburg , Bremen , Hanover , Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart . At the end of 1992 the D2 network reached 80 percent of Germany. The fees were below those of the existing radio telephone network ( C network ) of the Post.

E network

The E-Netz was the cellular network of E-Plus (E1-Netz) and O2 (E2-Netz). In 1994/95 there was a significant drop in prices for D1 terminals and the tariff structure (price reduction from 1992 to 1993: around 40%). In September 2006, Vodafone named 29.6 million participants. In 2006 the Federal Network Agency assigned them D-Netz frequencies in the so-called E-GSM frequency band . The areas were previously used for military purposes. In return for the allocation of the D-Netz frequencies, E-Plus and O 2 have returned some of the E-Netz frequencies. In the meantime, the D-Networks have also received E-Netz frequencies to increase capacity, so that there is no longer a strict system separation between D- and E-Netz according to frequency bands.


In Austria, the D-Netz was an analog cellular network based on the E-TACS standard in the 900 MHz frequency range , which was offered by the Post and later - after the reorganization - by Mobilkom. It was introduced in 1990 and shut down on February 28, 2002. Participants could be reached under the area code (0) 663 and a 6-digit number, did not dial a traffic elimination number in the domestic networks and had to dial "663" in their own network. It was therefore possible that the last participant numbers with a leading "0" were assigned.

The handheld devices were initially around 1 kg in weight and finally - at least with a slim battery - they weighed around 250 g and were therefore chest pocket-friendly. Antennas protruded clearly from the device and were either pulled out 5 cm at the top left of the device with the second hand or swiveled upwards from the left side of the device with the middle finger of the right hand when gripping the device. The latter design made one-handed operation practicable for the first time, for example with the other hand while cycling or driving a car. Terminal devices were only available from a few dealers (for company radio, Bosch service, ...) where they had to be programmed to the subscriber number due to the lack of a SIM card. Until recently, the selection when buying was limited to a total of 5 types from around 3 manufacturers.

Devices of the predecessor C-Netz had become portable and autonomous around 1987. The " Schrack hotline" suitcase, which weighs 4 kg with a battery and is about 25 × 25 × 15 cm in size, with an overhead handle and a detachable receiver on the spiral cable, could be placed loosely in the footwell in front of the passenger seat or in a holder. Even earlier, devices were made up of several parts and mostly permanently mounted in cars: external antenna, receiver with a spiral cable on a shelf (the alphanumeric display was typically single-line and made up of red LED pixels) mounted in the dashboard area or between the front seats, the transmitter hardware was a few Liters large and several kilograms heavy block, which was typically installed in the trunk and also supplied by the car battery. High connection charges for incoming calls (as was also the case later for the Austrian D network) meant that calls were correspondingly short.

Because the C cell phones were mostly installed in cars, for example by press photographers, the term " car phone " - for example in the official telephone book - was also often used for connections to the D network that were soon no longer installed in cars and were decreasing Weight were also used increasingly less car-bound.

The digital GSM network was introduced in Austria in 1993 under the name E-Netz, but this term is no longer used. Confusion with the German D-Netz is possible, but the Austrian D-Netz is an analogue radio network comparable to the German C-Netz.


The commercial start of the digital GSM network in Switzerland took place in March 1993 under the name NATEL D. The 079 area code, which is still used today, was introduced. In Switzerland, the D network was first set up in the Swiss metropolitan areas and along the most important axes. The first international roaming contracts with foreign network operators in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Italy and France were concluded.


  • Christel Jörges and Helmut Gold : Telephones 1863 until today; From the collections of the Museums for Communication; Edition Braus, 2001; ISBN 3-926318-89-9 ; Pp. 288-290