Sustainable products and services.
Technological progress is changing the world we live in. It also offers new opportunities when it comes to tackling challenges such as climate change, scarce resources and aging societies by thinking and acting in a sustainable way. ICT plays a key role in this. We offer our customers attractive products and services that meet their needs and help them make green consumer choices.
Telekom's vision is to become a global leader in connected life and work. At the same time, we want to be at the forefront of our industry when it comes to taking social and responsibility for society and the environment. We pursue comprehensive research and development activities at many levels of the Group for this purpose. Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs ), the central research and innovation unit of Deutsche Telekom, plays a key role in this field.
T-Labs : Top-notch research and innovation.
T-Labs considers itself an initiator at the company. Its job is to support the development and realization of innovative products, services and infrastructures throughout the Group. The growth areas of smart energy, connected car and e-health are key when it comes to sustainable innovation. We specify effective goals for each growth area. Telekom's objective in the smart energy area is to be the best partner for businesses involved in the transition to renewable sources of energy. Their main challenge will be to make sustainable energy solutions affordable and attractive to both consumers and businesses. The energy turnaround is going to become the largest ICT project of our time - and our plan is to be very involved in this project. For example, we consider it our job to develop and set up scalable IT platforms for smart metering and for supporting operational processes in the energy industry. In the connected car business area, Deutsche Telekom strives to maintain its leading role in digitizing services and business models for the automotive and logistics industries. The Group effectively connects service providers and vehicles via an open, standardized operating platform that makes new business models possible for everyone involved. That makes Deutsche Telekom an independent service provider for vehicle manufacturers, logistics companies, fleet operators, dealerships, car repair shops and consumers. Our goal in the e-health business area is to become the best partner for the health sector by providing innovative services. Our focus is on creating smart networks between doctors, insurance companies, hospitals and other medical and care facilities and patients. We are planing to generate revenue of around one million euros by 2015 in these three growth areas combined.
Deutsche Telekom invests heavily in innovation and research throughout the Group. Our direct investments came to 97 million euros in 2013. We also provided additional funding for research and development activities by partnerships and company shareholdings. The scope of this funding exceeded our direct investments many times over. This approach is in line with Telekom's new Group strategy, which focuses on collaborating with partners to develop sustainable products and enrich the lives of our customers.
Our Design Principles form the basis of how we develop our products. These principles include general sustainability criteria. These principles are specified in detail in our Sustainability Guideline for Product Design and our device packaging policy. They help ensure that our customers receive high-quality products and services also from an ethical end ecological perspective.
Our cloud services are a good example of sustainable, customer-centric solutions. With these services, customers no longer need to operate their own hardware, reducing energy consumption and costs. Our QIVICON smart home solution also offers sustainable added value. Customers can use their tablet computer to control building installations and electric appliances. The solution helps older people lead independent lives in their own homes as long as possible. It can also support power grid stability if household appliances that use a lot of energy, like washing machines and dryers, are only started up when the grid is experiencing low usage. Another good example are our DECT phones in the new Sinus series, which we have been offering since 2013. The products bear the Blue Angel environmental seal. This makes it easier for our customers to make informed decisions that benefit the climate and environment when purchasing devices.
Our customers are placing increasing importance on sustainability aspects such as the user-friendliness, security and accessibility of ICT services. Sustainability also means leaner manufacturing, packaging and transportation processes, which also offer potential cost savings. Product and solution sustainability also increases the confidence that customers and finance companies entrust in us. And we set ourselves apart from the competition with our sustainability efforts as well. We are now facing the challenge of addressing all sustainability aspects for our products and solutions along the entire value-added chain – from manufacturing and organizational processes to helping our customers maintain a sustainable lifestyle. At the same time it is important to structure technology development processes in the ICT area in a way that is sustainable. T-Labs plays an important role in this. T-Labs worked on the following in 2013:
Improved data privacy.
In cooperation with the Mozilla Foundation, T-Labs has developed mobile communications data privacy concepts under the motto "Future of Mobile Privacy." The project mainly focuses on the secure encryption of e-mails and the possibility of surfing online anonymously. Special processes have been designed to enable users to surf online without giving away their current location.
Cost-efficient cloud services.
Within the scope of the TRESOR (Trusted Ecoystem for Standardized & Open cloud-based Resources) project, T-Labs is collaborating with partners to develop a cloud ecosystem. The solution involves a cloud services marketplace where cloud brokers assign resources such as software systems to users. One of the project goals is to optimize collaboration between different providers and their solutions while lowering costs for those companies.
New 5G mobile communications generation.
We expect the 5th generation wireless systems (5G) to have matured by 2020. We want to be part of this new generation right from the start. That is why T-Labs has been actively participating in the European research project entitled METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society), which was launched in 2013. Right from the get-go, the METIS project partners developed scenarios for a possible future 5G mobile communications standard. For example, 5G will transmit data at extremely high speeds even at locations with high population density, such as city centers. By then, data volume will have increased thousand-fold. At the same time, it is important to keep the cost and energy consumption of the new technology at current levels.