Research & innovation.
Telekom is not content with just being state-of-the-art but wants to anticipate new developments and help shape the future. That is why we invest in wide-ranging research and development activities, in particular in the work of Telekom Innovation Laboratories. We are also committed to financing professorships and creating pioneering ideas in cooperation with universities.
By developing smart solutions in the areas of energy, automotive and healthcare, Telekom has opened up new business areas. Together, these business areas are expected to generate around one billion euros in revenue by 2015. We intend to become the number one partner of the healthcare industry by providing innovative health services.
Research and development expenditure includes pre-production research and development, such as the search for alternative products, processes, systems, and services. By contrast, we do not class as research and development expenditure the costs of developing system and user software with the aim of increasing productivity and providing more effective IT support for business processes. In 2012, research and development expenditure in the Deutsche Telekom Group amounted to EUR 65.9 million, which is less than in the previous year. As the parent company, Deutsche Telekom AG bears part of the Group's research and development expenditure. At EUR 52 million, this amount was slightly above the prior-year figure of EUR 48 million.
However, this indicator must not be considered in isolation from the three-pronged innovation strategy described above. We also rely on new external innovations and plan to generate growth not only from our in-house developments but also from our partnerships and company shareholdings. We currently have a fund of EUR 410 million available for such projects, for example in our T-Venture company.
Deutsche Telekom's investments in internally generated intangible assets to be capitalized were down year-on-year at EUR 78.0 million. These investments predominantly relate to internally developed software, mainly for our Systems Solutions operating segment. In the reporting year, over 2,400 employees (2011 around 2,200) were involved in projects and activities to create new products and market them more efficiently. The majority of employees working for T-Labs , the unit responsible for results-oriented research and innovation, are researchers from a wide variety of disciplines.
Expenditure and investment in research and development.
Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs ) is the central research and innovation unit of Deutsche Telekom. T-Labs works closely with Deutsche Telekom's operating units by offering new ideas and support when it comes to developing and rolling out innovative products, services and infrastructures for Telekom's growth areas.
Telekom Innovation Laboratories incorporates six innovation areas:
- Internet & services
- New media
- Cross-domain middleware
- IT & cloud
- Convergent networks & infrastructure
- Emerging ecosystems
With sites in Berlin, Darmstadt, Bonn (Germany), Tel Aviv (Israel), and Mountain View in the United States, T-Labs ' focus is on medium-term projects and on technologies that produce USPs and new business for Deutsche Telekom. The cooperation with universities in Berlin, as well as several other universities, institutes, industry partners and start-ups around the world, ensures close links between the research community and the private sector and the pivotal knowledge transfer into Telekom.
Research and development at Telekom Innovation Laboratories ranges from developing interactive, globally available media services and virtualizing the IT infrastructure as part of cloud computing development to extensive IT infrastructure improvements. Focal topics in 2012 included the following:
- Smart assistance systems: T-Labs coordinated the SmartSenior research project conducted by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, which was completed in 2012. The goal of the project was to enable older people to live independently in their own homes as long as possible with the help of smart assistance systems. In the project, T-Labs developed an innovative home gateway that provides access to previously separate, age-appropriate assistance systems for a healthy, independent life (AAL services) via one standardized gateway and makes those services easier to use for older people.
- Load-adaptive network operation: Load-adaptive network operation, which brings network capacities in line with current demand, is energy-efficient and helps conserve resources. Networks that feature smart control systems to dynamically adjust capacities to current demand are gaining importance especially in times where the use of renewable energy sources is on the rise. In the context of the DESI project, Telekom Innovation Laboratories is working to further advance load-adaptive networks, a technology originally designed solely for use in emergency power supply.
- IT-supported traffic management: In cooperation with the Hamburg Port Authority, SAP and T-Systems, T-Labs is developing an IT-supported traffic management system that can be used to optimize the flow of goods based on constantly updated information on freight orders and the current traffic situation as part of the Smart Port Logistics project.
- Communication and translation device for deaf-blind persons: T-Labs ' prototype of the Mobile Lorm Glove turns the Lorm alphabet—a means of communication for people with pronounced hearing and sight impairments—into digital text and vice versa. The Lorm alphabet is a hand-touch alphabet where specific points of the palm of the hand represent different letters. Words are composed by touching the relevant points. Thanks to a glove equipped with sensors (a Lorm glove), these messages can be transformed into text and then transferred to mobile devices or computers. The system signals incoming text messages to the person wearing the glove via vibration.
In 2012 T-Labs also founded a new Telekom subsidiary, Trust2Core, that enables highly secure mobile communications. Other start-ups are being planned.
The T-City program was launched more than three years ago in Szolnok, Hungary. It aims to introduce new and innovative services and product concepts to the local residential and business market. During the past few years, numerous products and services have been launched in this city. This opportunity to test the services in the city before the actual product launch enables Magyar Telekom to fine-tune its service concepts to customer expectations.
In the two-year FUTURISTA program announced in 2012 and running for two years from January 2013, Magyar Telekom invited 20 Szolnok households to test its product developments before their market launch. These households were asked to share their experiences via questionnaires or personal interviews in order to help the company fine-tune its products and solutions.
Intelligent city card.
A sophisticated smart-card solution initiated in 2012 works on the "one card" philosophy, i.e., all the separately card functions previously available are now integrated into one card. Already more than 500 test cards are in operation. The beneficiaries come from all groups of the city's population since the card can be used in various areas of their lives, e.g., as school card and school ID card in cooperation with Hungary's National Unified School Card System; at work as a card to track the number of hours worked; or in public transport as a smart ticket solution. What is more, this smart card opens up new possibilities for future implementation, e.g. a mobile public transport ticket payment system, near field communication (NFC) solutions or a usage-based billing system for public transport.
Mobile City app—enhanced version of previous virtual tour guide.
Previously implemented as a virtual guide to Szolnok, detailing all the important and famous places in the city with useful up-to-date information, the enhanced version of this mobile city app now takes the users' manifold requests into account and features upgraded functions with useful opportunities related to everyday life in the city. The free app has already been downloaded more than 8,500 times. Users are informed about all the city's cultural, sport and educational programs and are often motivated to send short messages about any activities, potholes in roads, damage, etc. that are of importance to the city authorities. Another interesting function is that the city's senior officials can send push notifications to local residents. Last but not least, Facebook is also integrated into the Mobile City app.
Optimizing energy management.
Energy consumption has been monitored in two secondary schools and the Mayor's office to determine their potential for energy savings. Magyar Telekom experts prepared proposals for optimizing the energy consumption of the above-mentioned institutions.
Smart metering .
As part of a pilot program initiated in 2012 with a strategic partner from the energy sector, Magyar Telekom plans to set up a comprehensive smart metering system for meter, network and meter data management. The pilot program involves the power company installing smart meters in 1,000 households in Szolnok's varying rural and urban transformer network topology. The first 500 meters had been installed in households by the end of 2012. This equipment enables the power company to obtain cost-benefit analyses and extensive information about the energy usage characteristics of each household. For their part, the households participating in the pilot are also benefiting from the chance to monitor their energy consumption via a Magyar Telekom web interface.
Public lighting optimization program.
In 2012 Magyar Telekom launched a program to test different technologies that enable the local council to save money on energy consumption.
Monitoring water quality.
In August 2012 Magyar Telekom installed a water quality monitoring system powered entirely by renewable energy. The system, which works 24 hours a day (except in the cold winter months), examines different water quality parameters and enables the general public to access the results in real time via a web interface.
The ENOTO system installed in a suburban area of Szolnok to monitor the roads of the settlement is playing a key role in resolving the public's safety concerns since it improves their security situation. The equipment installed is capable of identifying—without human intervention—any vehicle registration number coming from any direction 24 hours a day and taking photos of a vehicle. As such, it plays a key role in improving crime detection.
Improving ICT skills for people of all ages.
In order to enhance ICT skills in Hungarian society, Magyar Telekom offers Szolnok residents two programs free of charge: the Internet Academy, which primarily addresses senior citizens, and T-City Kids, an ICT education program for children between the ages of 8 and 11. More than 300 people have already taken advantage of the Internet Academy programs and more than 1,200 children have participated in T-City Kids so far.
Near field communication (NFC) technology is an innovative and safe way of making fast cashless payments by mobile phone. Hrvatski Telekom launched a test phase for NFC technology in 2012 in which some 200 of its employees were able to make payments at selected points of sale using NFC-enabled mobile phones.
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