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  • Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report
2018 Corporate Responsibility Report

Sustainable products and services

Our products, services, and activities help us tackle ecological and social challenges, as was made clear in a comparison with the 17 sustainability goals (SDGs) set forth by the United Nations. That’s because information and communications technology (ICT img) allows industries, service providers and consumers to be more sustainable. By way of example, according to the GeSI SMARTer2030 study, greenhouse emissions could be reduced by 20 percent by 2030 through targeted use of ICT. It also offers great market potential: The study estimates that ICT-supported services will be able to generate additional sales totaling some 6.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2030.

However, sustainability means more than just climate protection. Technology can contribute to lower resource consumption, for example, in connection with smart city projects. In the health care sector, digitalization of patient documents is reducing paperwork. And even the introduction of digital bills is helping to conserve resources.

In our current consumer model, products are usually discarded after use. This leads to the loss of valuable resources while garbage piles grow. The idea of a circular economy, where resources return to the production process through recycling. In keeping with the motto “avoid, reduce, reuse” we also make careful use of natural resources at our company. The idea of a sharing economy goes a step further than this. This is a “share instead of own” concept, which reduces the amount of consumer goods per person. What’s more, repairing objects increases their life cycle. Both save valuable resources. Many sharing economy concepts like car sharing or city bikes wouldn’t be possible without digital networking. ICT is thus an important prerequisite for more sustainable business

 
  • Just what is corporate digital responsibility – a new term for something that’s old hat?

    Yes and no. As with corporate responsibility, it basically denotes enterprises’ responsibility for society and the environment, but with a particular focus on the impact of digitalization.

  • Why is that so important? Does the digital revolution increasingly harbor risks for society and the environment?

    First and foremost, digitalization delivers many advantages. It connects people – across borders and boundaries. The internet creates access to knowledge and education worldwide. And digital solutions even help us conserve resources. In agriculture, for example. More and more farmers are using sensors to record the temperature, pH level or soil moisture. That data can help them dose water and fertilizer in a precise and pinpointed way and hence reduce the resources they use.

    There are many good approaches and a genuine chance for a better, more sustainable future. Yet there are just as many unresolved questions, for example about issues such as IT security, informational self-determination, or technology ethics. Corporate digital responsibility is about formulating the opportunities presented by digitalization for society – without concealing the risks. It’s also about breaking down fears about change and showing that we can help to shape the future. As well as about creating transparency and establishing game rules.

  • It’s said digitalization can help save energy. But doesn’t the network need vast amounts of energy?

    That’s true, the network needs energy to run. At the same time, it enables solutions that save far more energy than it itself consumes. Cars will be able to communicate with each other in real time in the future thanks to the new 5G communications standard. That means the vision of safe, congestion-free road traffic will become reality, which in turn will cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. And there are smarter and smarter ways of finding a place to park. Our Park & Joy app helps drivers find free parking spots quickly, which not only saves a lot of hassle, but also fuel. Last but not least, the network is a crucial factor in the energy transition. It wouldn’t be feasible without networking, in other words, without digitalization.

    Nevertheless, the network’s power consumption needs to be minimized. That’s why we’re also ensuring that our infrastructure is as energy-efficient as possible.

  • That sounds highly promising. But what about the security of data?

    People will use sustainable digital solutions only if they can trust in their personal data being kept secure. That’s why we’re doing all we can to make Deutsche Telekom’s network not only exceptionally energy-efficient, but also exceptionally secure. To successfully protect ourselves and our customers against hacking, we operate one of the largest and most advanced defense centers in Europe, for example. We’re focusing on short-distance internet: It is crucial that data does not pass through other jurisdictions when being moved around. It’s also necessary to ensure that people have complete control of their digital data, in other words, can object to use of that data. Data must only be allowed to be analyzed in anonymized form.

  • Data protection is one aspect. What else is needed so that users can move about the internet securely?

    People must know how to use digital media properly and be able to assess potential risks realistically. They must be able to differentiate between credible and deliberately misleading information. Skills like that go far beyond questions of protecting personal data. We’re committed to fostering media literacy skills to strengthen users in these areas. On our “Media, sure! But secure.” website, for example, we offer tutorials on subjects such as online opinion-making or data privacy and security, as well as information on subjects like the darknet or digital legacy. The content is available in several languages and can be used for self-learning and for teaching or workshops.

  • So what do you do about people who are afraid of losing their job due to digitalization? That could easily affect many of your colleagues ...

    It goes without saying that digitalization is also impacting the world of work. There are activities that will be automated in the future. For starters, no one would argue against robots taking over hard and monotonous work. But whether machines will actually take over all our work or rather become new colleagues, and at the same time new fields of work for people will emerge – those are questions no one can answer with certainty.

    One thing’s for sure: The way we work will change. The future world of work will be digital and agile and will demand completely new skills and job profiles. So that employees learn how to handle these changes, enterprises must break down fears, realign their skills and promote lifelong learning. Collaboration with employee representatives is vital in that: After all, the changes have to be reconciled with employees’ interests, and their trust in their employer has to be strengthened. But the main point is that we need to shape the future together.

  • What role does analysis of data play in increasing sustainability?

    A key role! Data analyses are important if we want digitalization to serve people. Data is the raw material of our age. However, added value and prosperity are created only where raw materials are processed and refined. We must therefore leverage data to our advantage – such as for research into diseases or smart traffic management. But one thing is certain: That’s only possible if people retain control of their personal data and analyses are always anonymous. Among other things, we’re one of the first companies to enshrine that in binding form in our data privacy principles so that we can ensure we meet the high requirements we’ve set in relation to the use of big data.

  • Artificial intelligence is also a much-discussed issue at present. What is it and what is your stance toward it?

    Artificial intelligence is basically software that replaces brainwork. Its task is to help people, expand their abilities, and not to confine them. Many of us aren’t aware that we use artificial intelligence in our everyday activities, such as in searches on the internet or in navigation systems. Chatbots – digital dialog systems with which users can communicate via text or voice – are also based on AI. We at Deutsche Telekom also use such a digital service assistant to complement our personal customer service. The adaptive system is becoming better and better at answering customers’ inquiries with every passing day. If the service assistant can’t answer a query, the customer is forwarded to a customer advisor.

    Even though artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, ideas that still seem like science fiction today may become reality down the road. We therefore need guidelines in a digital world that’s changing at a terrific pace. They will help us recognize what’s important and right. In 2018 we adopted guiding principles on the ethical use of artificial intelligence, defining how we at Deutsche Telekom aim to handle this issue. The guiding principles are a starting point for further developing rules on the responsible use of artificial intelligence in dialog with our stakeholders – with politics, science, and society. Because we can only define what “digital responsibility” means together.

As a telecom company, we are doing our part to decrease the resource consumption of ICT products: In our leasing model for routers and media receivers, discarded devices are refurbished for reuse. This extends their life cycle. And with our cell phone collection program, we can also ensure that valuable raw materials are returned to the value chain. We are in regular and intensive communication with our suppliers to further embed sustainability in our products. Thanks to solutions such as cloud computing, our customers can also forgo their own servers, thereby conserving resources. In addition, ICT helps stabilize electricity networks, simplify workflows and further improve medical care. 

As a modern technology company, we want to help shape the development of products and services that contribute to sustainability. That is why we continuously expand our offer of sustainable products and innovative ICT solutions for private and business customers.

Promoting sustainable products and services

Our contribution to the SDGs

We are committed to systematically using the sustainability potential of ICT. Our primary focus in these efforts is on growth segments such as Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, smart home and e-health. Sustainable products are also an important pillar of our integrated climate strategy.

Managing the issue of sustainable products calls for systematic measures to be implemented throughout the supply chain. This is why we begin with procurement: We can thereby ensure that sustainability criteria are complied with along the supply chain.

We aim to have our products certified by recognized environmental labels such as the Blue Angel and the TÜV “Certified Green Product” label. The strict requirements of these labels help us see how we can further improve our products. They also help us inform our customers of the benefits of choosing sustainable products.

We also want to make our product packaging more sustainable: Wherever possible, packaging is getting smaller. To protect products in the packaging, we will be utilizing more insulating elements made from non-plastic materials.

At the end of a product’s life cycle, we contribute to its reuse or recycling. For example, we regularly carry out used cell phone collection campaigns.

Sustainable solutions for today and tomorrow
Our services contribute to the increasing digitization of workflows and business processes, resulting in decreased consumption of resources. We provide not only the necessary network for these processes, but also offer numerous solutions. Some examples of this are approaches in connected agriculture or cloud computing offerings, which eliminate our customers’ need for their own servers and storage media. At the same time, we want to give as many people as possible the chance to participate in the information society and to use the opportunities it offers. We promote media skills, for instance, and offer solutions that enable people with limitations to use modern means of communication. We develop products and services that meet their needs and continue to work on improving user friendliness. In addition, in Germany and in several national companies, we offer subsidized rates that allow low-income customers and people with disabilities to have cost-efficient phone service and data rate plans.

When developing new, sustainable ICT img solutions, we also cooperate with various partners and communicate with our stakeholders.

Furthermore, we invest in extensive research, for example, in the field of the Internet of Things. We invested a total of 57.7 million euros in research and development throughout the Group in 2018. We also finance professorships, collaborate with universities and encourage innovative business concepts with our start-up incubator, hubraum.

Making progress measurable
We measure our progress by means of various KPIs. For example, we use the Sustainable Revenue Share ESG KPI img to measure the share in sales of products and services that are classified as sustainable based on a risk-benefit analysis. In 2018, 42 percent of our overall revenue in Germany and Europe was generated with such products. We measure the impact of our collection campaigns with our Take Back Mobile Devices ESG KPI.

Markus Göddertz

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Markus Göddertz

Continued analysis of our products’ sustainability benefits

In 2014, we began analyzing our product portfolio together with external experts based on sustainability criteria. This is an ongoing process in which we most recently revised the filter logic of our approach in 2018 in order to better depict current developments. Along with slight adjustments we are placing greater emphasis on the role of information security and circular economy as part of our analysis. We measure the result with the Sustainable Revenue Share ESG img KPI. The share of such products was already 42 percent in 2018 (excluding T-Mobile US).

42 of Deutsche Telekom’s products and services provide a sustainable benefit

Examples of such sustainability benefits include:

  • Reduced CO2 emissions thanks to virtualization (for example, through online meetings instead of business trips)
  • E-health solutions (telemonitoring, for example, enables health care at home)
  • Internet of Things solutions (remote diagnostic solutions shorten repair cycles and help reduce field service calls)
  • Reduction in resource-intensive or harmful processes (the Park & Joy app speeds up the search for parking spaces, for instance)

Overall, we have carried out in-depth analyses for 29 product groups with regard to their sustainability benefits and the corresponding business potential (as of year-end 2018). We have illustrated the benefits of some selected products based on all three pillars of sustainability (ecological, social and economic):

To date, there is no industry-wide established system that provides customers with sustainability information about ICT img products and services. We have started to create just such a system using our product analyses – that is, to find out which sustainability contributions our products can make at all. Future plans also include keeping our customers better informed of these sustainability benefits, thereby sharpening our competitive edge.

Markus Göddertz

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Markus Göddertz

Internet of Things

Our contribution to the SDGs

Machines and products are becoming increasingly intelligent. Cars can communicate with repair shops, containers with logistics service providers. The technologies that make these developments possible are bundled under the term Internet of Things, or IoT. By 2020 the number of connected machines and devices worldwide is expected to increase to 2.5 billion. IoT is an important area of growth for us.

IoT can help ideally coordinate the processes of various devices, vehicles and entire industrial facilities. This helps increase industrial productivity, ensure efficient logistics, reduce energy consumption, and conserve resources.

We also support the German federal government’s Industry 4.0 img initiative through our involvement in IoT. The initiative’s objective is to maintain Germany’s competitive edge in the technology sector.

New wireless technology allows for innovative applications
Our networks are the basis for a number of IoT applications, as mobile network technology is the key transmission channel of every IoT connection. In this respect, the NarrowBand Internet of Things (NB-IoT) is gaining significance. As opposed to broadband applications, which enable transmission of large amounts of data, narrowband technology is specifically designed to reliably transfer very small data packages. Benefits of NB-IoT include its low energy requirements, extensive reach and low-cost device networking. NB-IoT is particularly suitable for use in logistics. When tracing transport containers, all that is needed is for the current position to be transferred once an hour. Only very small amounts of data need to be transferred in small data packages – and not necessarily in real time. NB-IoT is even used to protect biodiversity, in a technology that beekeepers can use to protect their bees.

We had a leading role in the development of a uniform NB IoT standard and are consistently driving its expansion: With available networks in ten countries, including nationwide network coverage in the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia and the U.S., we are one of the leading mobile providers in the NB IoT environment.

Across Europe, we work with more than 500 business customers from various sectors who develop and sell devices and applications based on NB IoT (as of the end of 2018). These include applications for measuring energy consumption (smart metering), traffic solutions (e.g., parking apps or applications to monitor train traffic) and solutions for waste management.

EU project AEOLIX: A platform for more efficient and climate-friendly logistics chains
The goal of the EU project AEOLIX is to build a new ICT img platform that networks numerous, previously isolated individual logistics systems across the EU. At the same time, practical services will be developed and tried out in 11 European test zones. T-Systems is participating in test zone 1: Intermodal Logistics in the Hamburg – Frankfurt Transportation Corridor. This zone will test a smartphone app that helps truck drivers drive in an ecologically responsible manner. Around 958,230 metric tons of CO2 could be spared in ongoing customer projects by analyzing driving profiles and ecodrive functions. The project will run until 2019.

AUTOPILOT – autonomous driving services for more efficiency
The goal of the EU project AUTOPILOT is to test autopilot services on the market. This also includes self-driving cars in short-distance traffic, self-parking cars and real-time car sharing. Such solutions are particularly efficient and environmentally friendly, resulting in an estimated 10 percent fewer CO2 emissions as compared to conventional driving practices. The project launched in 2017 will run until 2019. Thereafter the services will be incorporated into regular operations. T-Systems is the project partner of AUTOPILOT and supports analyses on the feasibility and market launch of the new services.

Connected Car: Preventing traffic jams with connected cars
T-Systems has been developing and operating Daimler’s Connected Car platform (Daimler vehicle backend) worldwide since 2013. The platform is the technical basis for the Live Traffic service, which provides drivers with real-time traffic information, thereby helping them avoid traffic jams. Live Traffic prevents about 30% of traffic jams per vehicle. This means that the approximately 7.5 million vehicles equipped with Live Traffic consumed about 9.3 million liters less fuel. This translates into CO2 savings of about 22,500 metric tons.

Roambee: “Bees” make the logistics chain transparent
Since the beginning of 2017 we have offered businesses a real-time solution for tracking and locating deliveries and assets and for monitoring the status of goods: Shipment & Asset Monitoring powered by Roambee. Our solution gives businesses – worldwide, regardless of transport route – answers to the most important questions about their goods: Where is the freight? What condition is it in? Will the delivery arrive on time? This is made possible by a “bee” included with the shipment. The device has sensors that record information such as temperature, humidity, light and movement and store the information in the cloud. The bee measures all information in real-time. A web portal gives users anytime access to a full overview including the device status, location and details on deliveries and assets.

Combating smugglers
T-Mobile Netherlands is working with Dutch app developer Itude Mobil to develop another product for the logistics sector – the “Babbler” cargo tracker. It looks like an ice hockey puck and is affixed to the inside of container doors. The device measures light, temperature, impacts, movement and magnetic fields and can be activated via an app on a smartphone. Every movement of the container is recorded. If anyone anywhere in the world removes the container door hinges, the transportation company will receive a notification. Deutsche Telekom is providing the required network for the application, which has to reach deep into the hold of container ships.

Intelligent building monitoring for improved indoor climate
Which room is being used when? Are the doors and windows closed at night? How is the air quality in the conference room? The new IoT complete solution, Building Monitoring & Analytics, offers answers to these questions. Room sensors log movements of people, the status of windows and doors, temperature, humidity, brightness and CO2 content. This information is encrypted and transmitted to Deutsche Telekom’s Connected Things Hub IoT platform where it is stored in compliance with data protection regulations. If certain threshold values are exceeded or problems detected, in-house technicians are notified and can take action. This helps lower costs for facility management and improve service.

Smart cities: Innovative solutions for smart urban spaces

Our contribution to the SDGs

The majority of worldwide CO2 emissions come from cities – an effect that is being intensified by increasing urbanization. At the same time, cities can also be the driving force behind and the origin of sustainable solutions. New offerings such as car and bike sharing, as well as measures such as setting up green zones are helping to reduce CO2 emissions. However, these alone are not enough to achieve the climate targets set by the global community in the Paris climate accord. Smart city concepts provide opportunities for additional, urgently needed efficiency improvements. In this context, Deutsche Telekom offers various solutions of its own as well as products developed jointly with partners. These include the parking app Park & Joy that shortens the time spent looking for a parking spot, smart street lighting that lowers electricity consumption, or connected waste containers that help avoid waste pickup when the containers are empty.

Starting with one of our first Smart City projects, “T-City” Friedrichshafen, our activities in this field have continued to develop. In 2016 we joined the mySMARTLife EU initiative, in 2017 we established the European Smart Solutions Center, and in 2018 we launched the cross-segment initiative Leveraged Smart Cities with the goal of combining our activities in this field. We have already supported the implementation of Smart City solutions in 18 cities in 10 European countries.

Partnership with the smart city program of the United Nations
In 2018 we entered into a partnership with the United Smart Cities program of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The program has been running since 2014 and connects existing smart city activities across the globe. It helps cities and other players work together, share solution concepts and drive forward smart city projects. It will thus, among other things, make a contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We support the program with our expertise in networking and smart solutions.

Digital Cities and Regions: working together on challenges
Together with the German Association of Towns and Municipalities we launched the Digital Cities & Regions initiative in the spring of 2018. The goal of the project is to jointly advance digitalization in municipalities and develop intelligent solutions. The top priority in this is to improve the quality of life and benefits for the local citizens. More than 23 cities and communities were involved in the development work. In the future, we plan to look at individual aspects of a digital city and develop specific solutions at quarterly Design Sprint meetings.

mySMARTLife in Hamburg
The city of Hamburg, together with the cities of Nantes and Helsinki, were awarded the EU lighthouse project mySMARTLife in 2016. Numerous measures intended to launch the Smart City transformation are slated to be implemented by 2021. The core topics of these lighthouse projects are increased use of renewable energies, climate-friendly living and environmentally friendly mobility. For example, use of electric vehicles will be promoted in the Hamburg-Bergedorf project region. Intelligent street lighting will also be employed. All projects involve active citizen participation. The Hamburg project proposal was backed by a total of 14 partners, including the borough of Bergedorf, HafenCity University, the HAW Hamburg university of applied sciences, electricity grid operator Stromnetz Hamburg, public transport operator Verkehrsbetriebe Hamburg-Holstein and Volkswagen. The project is being funded as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The project results will be compared to other lighthouse projects in the EU. The project will also examine which measures can be implemented in the next mySMARTLife project cities – Varna (Bulgaria), Bydgoszcz (Poland), Rijeka (Croatia) and Palencia (Spain).

Digital City Darmstadt
In June 2017, Darmstadt won the Digital City contest. The aim of the competition, organized by Bitkom, is to create a model digital city in German and Europe. Darmstadt won out against the competition and since then has implemented various solutions in connection with its #Digitalstadt Darmstadt program to make the city more sustainable, easier on the environment and more livable. Deutsche Telekom is providing support, among other things, with networking solutions, sensors to measure air quality, intelligent parking sensors and infrastructure for operating autonomous trams.

Smart City Bonn
In Bonn, we began connecting street lighting and waste containers with intelligent sensors and measuring air quality at the end of 2017. The street lamps can be dimmed and, with the help of motion sensors, automatically become brighter when pedestrians approach. The public utility company is also notified when a bulb needs to be replaced. On average, this technology saves up to 60 percent of the street lamps’ operating costs. Additionally, we measure the fill level in a number of recycling containers using installed sensors. The municipal garbage service need not come for the container until it is actually full. Another sensor measures the air quality of the inner city. We also provide the associated analysis software.

Smart Cities app
By 2022, Germany must provide online access for all standard administrative services such as driver’s license or passport documents – as required by the online access law. Deutsche Telekom and the German Association of Towns and Municipalities are helping local administrative authorities with the development and implementation of digital services. These should be as simple, citizen-friendly and standardized as possible.

The city of Monheim am Rhein laid the foundation in 2018 when it commissioned Deutsche Telekom to develop the Monheim Pass. The app bundles digital services for the public sector, such as adjusting registration details or applying for a driver’s license and, in the future, will also enable the use of mobility solutions such as car and bike sharing, for example. The app also provides information on local recreational activities.

Developer community for smart cities and municipalities
At the Mobile World Congress telecommunications fair in February 2019 Deutsche Telekom called on cities and municipalities to join a developer community for the Smart Cities app. After all: Challenges such as scarce resources, legal requirements and ongoing operations are easier to overcome when the community works together. Dortmund and Bonn have already joined the developer community.

Park and Joy – Digital parking management
Preventing traffic jams and reducing CO2 emissions – these goals pose major challenges to cities and communities. Digital applications can help improve traffic flows and lower harmful emissions with a small amount of administrative effort. One example of this is the “Park and Joy” app we launched in Hamburg in 2017. In 2018, users could search for around 30,000 parking spots in 45 cities with the app, thus exceeding the target of 28 cities set at IFA 2018. The app displays available parking spaces and navigates drivers to them. Users can also pay the parking fee directly on the app and even extend their parking time flexibly while on the go. Expansion of the app to numerous other cities is planned for 2019. With the help of sensors, the forecasting capacity of the algorithm to find a parking space will continue to be improved. The first sensors have already been installed and more are planned.

Hackathon: Ideas competition on life in the city
Implementing ideas for a livable city of the future – that was the topic of Hackathon: Smart Public Life in the spring of 2018 in St. Pölten, Austria. Within 24 hours, 60 developers in 13 groups created their own ideas for an innovative city. In the end, 13 ideas for minor adjustments in the city were presented that aim to simplify the life of residents in St. Pölten. The Hackathon was a great opportunity for the developers to make new contacts and enhance their skills.

Smart city projects in our national companies

Hrvatski Telekom

HT's EV Charging Network with more than 120 EV Chargers
Hrvatski Telekom has opened 11 networked EV chargers on the island of Krk, offering a range of functionalities, such as an option to book charging. It is a part of Krk’s long-term strategy to become the first “smart island” in Croatia. Hrvatski Telekom's e-mobility solution is the most advanced complete ecosystem of service infrastructure and “turnkey” charging. HT's EV charging network currently has 120 publicly accessible EV chargers equipped with 165 charge points in 75 cities throughout Croatia, and the network is expanding continuously.

Hrvatski Telekom and Go2Digital start Modernization of Public Payphones
Hrvatski Telekom and the Croatian agency for digital out-of-home advertising – Go2Digital – have signed an agreement to modernize payphones. Existing payphones only offer telephony and they will be replaced by digital payphones and a number of IoT-based smart solutions. This will give the public access to many new features, ranging from wireless charging for mobile devices, to information about pollen levels in the air by means of special sensors inside the booths, to the SOS key that can be used to call for emergency help in the event of an accident. Each booth is also a WiFi img Hot Spot providing free, unlimited Internet that gives users and passers-by connectivity. At least 25 payphones throughout Croatia will be replaced annually in a rolling program.

Smart Parking for Disabled Persons in Split
Hrvatski Telekom and its partner Mobilisis rolled out a smart parking solution for people with disabilities in Split. This will contribute to increasing the quality of life for people with disabilities in Split and reduce city traffic in the center of Split. A total of 12 sensors from Mobilisis were installed in parking spaces intended for people with disabilities at the junction of Antun Gustav Matoš Street and Zrinsko-frankopanska Street in Split (Stari plac). The sensors operate on the Narrowband IoT network of Hrvatski Telekom. They are connected to the Split parking app that allows users to see accessible parking spaces.

Telekom Romania

Making Transport as Smart as possible
In Sibiu Telekom Romania teamed up with Banca Comercială and Global Payments to roll out a system on Tursib's local transport system that encourages their use. It is a payment solution based on contactless Mastercard and Visa cards. Any holder of a contactless bank card can use this system regardless of whether the issuing bank is in Romania or abroad, and this enables them to travel around more easily than ever before. They can immediately pay for the trip in a fully secure environment by simply swiping their card over devices available in the Tursib transport system. The infrastructure implemented by Telekom Romania consists of POS printers for issuing tickets and 3G img communications equipment.

Smart Parking and Waste Management Solutions implemented by Telekom in Cluj Napoca
Telekom Romania has implemented two smart solutions in Cluj Napoca: parking and waste management that contributes to the city’s cleaner air and improves the urban landscape. Smart Parking can monitor the occupancy level of the public parking lots and display the availability on board or in the app. Next in line is a smart traffic management solution based on sensors which will adjust green/red light frequency and duration in order to reduce traffic jams.

Another useful solution is the waste management system. This involved placing garbage bins in underground platforms with an external dispenser. The disposal trucks no longer need to come regularly, but only when the sensors give an alert that the bins are full.

Smart City Solution in Alba-Iulia: Smart Lighting System for a Secondary School
Telekom Romania implemented a Smart City solution in Alba-Iulia: a smart lighting system installed in secondary school 7 Mihai Eminescu. The old neon-based lighting system at the school was replaced with a smart lighting system implemented in all the 28 classrooms, corridors, bathrooms, and teachers’ meeting room. The smart lighting system implemented by Telekom Romania includes LED lighting units that allow light intensity and flow in the school to be controlled according to the time of the day and season. Energy consumption and related reductions in cost for the school are among the benefits of implementing the system. It allows the lighting to be adjusted to match natural light in every room and the lights switch off automatically during breaks. The corridors were equipped with dimming LEDs fitted with sensors that switch on and off in response to people walking along them. Creating a balance between the exterior and interior light also stimulates pupils’ attention, concentration capacity, and motivation.

T-Systems Iberia

Gijón-In: a new integrated concept of smart cities
In the city of Gijón (Spain), T-Systems is developing "GIJÓN-IN”, an innovative, intelligent and integrated city management project. The project aims to achieve more efficient administration and provision of municipal services based on Big Data techniques, IoT technology, and ICT img solutions. The project has been sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and it is responsible for implementing up to 22 different schemes in the Spanish city over a period of 36 months. The 16 initiatives to make Gijón a truly 'smart city' cover various topics, such as complete digitalization of municipal services, promotion of citizen and business participation, and activities for sensing and handling information generated in the city.

Telekom Albania

Wi-Fi coverage in public places
Making technology available to society at large is one of the pillars of Telekom Albania's corporate responsibility. Within this framework, the company supported a project organized by the city authority in Tiranato to cover a very busy tourist area in the city with a Wi-Fi signal. The service is offered free of charge to citizens and tourists who are empowered to navigate freely on the Internet. This project neatly combines technology with access for all groups in society.

Smart City conference highlights Danish-Albanian dialogue
The Royal Danish Embassy in Zagreb organized a business event in Tirana on 7 June 2018. The goal of this event is to showcase Danish and Albanian achievements in organizing and managing smart towns and cities. A further aim is to inspire further progress in smart solutions for urban planning, mobility, people’s well-being, and in the field of energy and environment. The event included presentations of case studies and a panel discussion with representatives from different cities. Mr. Daniel Michel, Vice President for Smart Cities at T-Systems, was invited to share Telekom’s case studies. The event also held networking sessions for B2B meetings.

Comfort Charge: expanding the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles

Since the fall of 2018, we have been working with our subsidiary Comfort Charge to expand our German network of charging stations for electric vehicles: We are upgrading parts of the existing telecommunications infrastructure into charging stations. To do this, we are using the power supply from our street cabinets which is needed for our fixed line and internet connections. The gray boxes at the side of the road, which house a separate power supply and digital measuring point from the broadband expansion, can be upgraded to include charging points relatively easily This sustainable use of existing infrastructure will help avoid additional structures in the cityscape and enable rapid implementation. Each charging station can supply two vehicles with 11 kW each through type-2 charging plugs. These “destination charging points” will supply enough power in one hour for a range of 50-75 kilometers – depending on the vehicle type. While the first destination charging points will be set up in selected cities in 2019, we have been at work since the fall setting up a nationwide rapid charging network at network nodes with charging capacities of more than 100 kW which is already fit for the next generations of vehicle batteries. The electricity for our charging network comes from renewable energy sources.

Our charging points in Germany have a uniform price per minute, although rapid charging costs around a third more than regular charging due to higher set-up costs.

Comfort Charge: expanding the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles

Sustainable Products and Services in Greece

In 2018, the OTE Group launched and developed several products and services to help customers improve their sustainability performance. The Group also successfully implemented some significant projects with the same objective. A number of examples are listed below:

In 2018, COSMOTE in collaboration with the Kir-Yianni winery in Naoussa, implemented a pilot application called “Smart Wine” which ensures the quality conditions of the wine being stored or transported step by step until it reaches consumers. This approach utilizes innovative Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology. Smart Wine application allows the conditions to be monitored throughout the wine's route from the producer to the distributor and on to the consumer.

Using Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology, the first "smart university campus" was launched by COSMOTE in Xanthi in collaboration with the Democritus University of Thrace (DUTH). The pilot project fully utilizes the advantages of the NB-IoT technology for implementation of smart applications to enhance air and water quality monitoring, and management of the campus's lighting and heating oil.

Various digital transformation projects were implemented during 2018 for the private and public sector. The innovative v-Banking service, which is unique at European level, was implemented for EUROBANK and it modernizes banking transactions giving priority to businesspeople and businesses. Eurobank's clients are now able to have personalized customer service within a secure digital environment without having to visit a bank branch.

Fraport Greece upgraded 14 regional airports by installing COSMOTE state-of-the-art IT and telecommunications Solutions to make a substantial contribution to uninterrupted and secure communication at airports, enhance the efficiency of business operations, and optimize services for passengers.

Coca-Cola HBC has selected the OTE Group to provide IT support services in 19 countries. This is a new investment in Greece that safeguards business continuity and creates more than 80 new jobs in the IT sector. The IT support services are provided by the OTE Group so as to ensure efficient management and issue resolution across all enterprise information systems of Coca-Cola HBC. The services offer support to 26,000 Coca-Cola HBC users in 14 languages 24/7 and 365 days a year.

A new project in the field of e-civilization was implemented for the Fund of Archeological Proceeds during 2018. Visitors to the Acropolis, Knossos, Messini, and the Museum of Heraklion are able to get a digital ticket on the Internet and avoid waiting in queues and encountering bad experiences. After two months of operation, the e-ticket already managed to generate a 13% increase in tickets.

The Fire Brigade project was delivered in 2018. It has been designed to collect and analyze geographic data received from Fire Service vehicles and organizations, and from unmanned drones. This allows Fire Service units to use smartphones, tablets, and PNDs (Personal Navigation Devices) to access crucial information about on-going fires and the resources available near the seat of the fire so that they can better coordinate fire-fighting.

Alongside implementing crucial digital transformation projects for the private and public sector, COSMOTE offered a number of services for small to medium-sized enterprises and for very small enterprises to help them grow.

The COSMOTE Business One proposition offers fixed, mobile, and cloud services. This allowed us to offer COSMOTE Digital Office providing cloud PBX (a PBX as a service with no investment) and new advanced digital tools and "smart" solutions to ensure maximum flexibility and cost-efficiency. Professionals can organize video conferences by sharing their computer screen (screen sharing) with their partners wherever they are.

COSMOTE Office Assistant is a brand new service offering remote secretarial support (e-secretary). This new innovative service helps professionals to manage their time more efficiently and focus on activities that are a top priority for their business. A cost-effective low entry package allows the business to manage a large volume of simultaneous calls, broaden service hours, and receive instant and regular notifications.

COSMOTE provides a new offering of mobile plans to cater for the seasonal needs of business in the tourism sector. COSMOTE Business Mobile Tourism is a custom-made solution designed to meet the needs of hotel owners, tour operators, and car rental businesses. It reduces the operational costs of their business since there is no need to pay the monthly costs for employees’ mobile devices while the business is closed in the off season.

COSMOTE offers COSMOTE Click & Site for very small enterprises to create their own online presence. With just one click, the entrepreneur can give their business an own website based on its Facebook page. The new innovative service includes a free domain, e-shop, and access to an e-booking service.

During 2018, COSMOTE offered COSMOTE My Internet for EU. The COSMOTE My Internet service now operates even when COSMOTE customers are traveling in the European Union. It provides genuine cost control and the security that travelers will not be charged after they have used their available MB allocation.

Digital health care: opportunities for the best medical care

Our contribution to the SDGs

A uniform telehealth platform permits cross-case, standardized data sharing among health care providers. Telehealth assistance systems can support patients and their families in everyday tasks, help bridge long distances to medical care, and optimize the care process. We are helping shape the digital health care system with numerous pilot projects:

  • We are involved in developing a solution for antibiotic treatment consultation at the St. Georg Hospital in Leipzig. The primary goal is to enable fast, secure data exchange between doctors, patients, and health insurers. The State of Saxony sponsored the project with over EUR 1.2 million at the beginning of 2017. It will run until mid-2019.
  • The main objective of the “Psychological Trauma Telehealth Network for Saxony (Tele-NePS)” project is to sustainably improve the integrated treatment chain for post-traumatic stress disorders. The goal is to enable straightforward and location-independent access to the treatment network, make expertise universally available among general practitioners and specialists in Saxony, and guarantee cross-institution documentation and coordination of the health care process. The EU and the State of Saxony will be funding the project, which will run until 2020, with EUR 1.4 million.
  • We are supporting hospitals in Essen (Kliniken Essen-Mitte, KEM) in advancing their digital transformation. During the course of the partnership, set up for ten years, the aim is to develop standardized information systems, and implement electronic patient files and connected appointment management systems. All drug administration and diagnostic findings are to be recorded digitally in future, which should reduce the organizational overhead and allow more time for patients. By January 1, 2019, we had replaced the existing hospital information system with our iMedOne solution at two of the clinic’s locations.

In addition to customer projects like these we are also developing our own solutions for digital health care:

  • Our telehealth platform is being used by increasing numbers of participants in Germany. The platform is based on the first Europe-wide open, trans-regional network, East Saxony CCS Telehealth (THOS). The platform allows patients, doctors, hospitals, nursing staff, pharmacies, and health insurers in a specific region to exchange data such as health parameters, findings, drug administration, or other information over a specially encrypted data network. New applications are added to the platform continually. In April 2018, we presented the new “Teleneurologie Parkinson” application at the world’s largest health care IT trade fair ConhIT: In addition to the family doctor or neurologist, the new solution also allows patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease to consult with a teleneurologist. The teleneurologist follows the physical examination of a patient by means of a video consultation, guides colleagues and the patient, and poses questions to the patient’s relatives.
  • Diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases in Germany. Together with the partner Emperra, the telehealth platform is currently being used as the basis for developing a therapy-supporting solution for patients with type 2 diabetes. The patient is offered recommended treatments by means of special algorithms that analyze blood glucose readings and the amount of insulin used. Based on a simple traffic light system, patients can better understand the effects of their lifestyle on their illness and thus positively influence the course of their illness on a long-term basis. 
  • Our Telekom Healthcare Cloud (THC) provides health professionals with a reliable and simple path toward the digital transformation of their work structures. One of our customers in this area is Gesundheit Nordhessen Holding (GNH). We support the group of hospitals by providing our cloud for its daily work.

Rapid entry into Smart Home business

Our contribution to the SDGs

A smart home can make life easier for its occupants in many ways, allowing them to control and monitor various devices remotely – from security systems and home appliances to home electronics. Of course, one big challenge remains, in that a provider’s smart home solution is often not compatible with the functions and devices of other manufacturers. That is why we have set up the open, vendor-neutral smart home platform QIVICON. This platform gives consumers the option of combining devices from different companies simply and individually.

QIVICON: More devices in more countries
The Deutsche Telekom national companies in Greece and Austria launched their smart home initiative in 2018 based on our white - label portfolio, which allows companies to develop a smart home - portfolio for their customers. As a result, the QIVICON platform is now available in seven European countries. Customers of T-Mobile Austria can use the Safety, Comfort, and Easy packages to quickly and easily set up a smart home solution that they can configure individually with a variety of compatible devices from different manufacturers and brands. Cosmote in Greece also offers smart solutions relating to security, comfort, and energy. Using a range of different compatible connected devices, users can likewise control their homes conveniently via an app.

We were able to further increase the number of devices that are compatible with the QIVICON platform during the reporting period. Products by the companies Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte, Bose, Grohe, and Ikea give consumers an even better selection of security and lighting options. Even today they can choose from among several hundred different smart home appliances.

Security and data protection at QIVICON
QIVICON is at the heart of Deutsche Telekom’s smart home system. The home base handles the integration and control of devices from different manufacturers and sets up a secure connection to the Telekom cloud, where the data required for monitoring and controlling the system is stored. 

In 2018, we commissioned the testing institute AV-TEST GmbH for the fourth time to check how secure the QIVICON Smart Home platform and the Magenta Smart Home app are. Once again, the rating was “very good protection”.

Open platform
We use our Software Development Kit (SDK) to make the QIVICON platform available for companies. They can use the platform to integrate their devices themselves with ease and develop their own innovative smart home ideas.

Responsible use of AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a future topic for many. But AI is already reality and so too are questions regarding the responsible use of AI. Even though, or precisely because, the state of artificial intelligence is still in its infancy compared to its expected capabilities, we need to address the ethical issues it raises now. This is the only way we can set the right course for the future.

In 2018, under the guidance of the Compliance unit, we therefore adopted guidelines for the ethical use of artificial intelligence. They define how we at Deutsche Telekom should use AI responsibly and how we should develop our AI-based products and services in the future. We do not claim that these guidelines constitute universally valid rules on the responsible use of AI, but instead want to develop them further in dialogue with our employees and external stakeholders.

Protecting resources with cloud computing

With cloud computing, our customers no longer need to be bothered with their own servers and storage media. In most cases, cloud computing is more resource and energy-efficient than running your own infrastructure outside of the cloud. Our data centers require up to 80 percent less energy thanks to more effective capacity utilization and less hardware. We are also continuing to work on further improving the efficiency of our data centers.

The cloud for the public sector
For companies that want to convert their systems to cloud solutions, T-Systems offers a program called The Cloudifier. We analyze the customer’s IT landscape and identify which applications can be transferred to the cloud. Building on this, we developed the Cloudifier4Public in 2017 – a service with which T-Systems designs and implements customized cloud strategies for the public sector in Germany. The design is tailored to the objectives and particulars of German public administration. Key aspects are data protection and information security, safeguarding of statutory tasks and compliance with legal framework conditions.

Less paper consumption through cloud billing
Integrating billing processes into our cloud offering is a next logical step for us. IoT real-time data for billing can thus be obtained directly from the cloud, making it easier, for example, to bill intelligent sensor services. The idea behind it is that the process is simplified and takes place online through to the bill.

“Digital twin” conserves resources
The Internet of Things allows companies in the manufacturing industry to make a digital model of a physical product. These digital twins accompany real products as real-time copies from their generation to their disposal, meaning they are constantly updated with the real objects’ status, behavior and performance data. Companies can thus already perform virtual stress tests during product planning, identify problems early on and initiate improvements in development, production, sales and service. This enables more accurate planning and saves resource-intensive test phases or even failures.

Don’t buy, rent

We want to make sure that used routers and media receivers don’t just end up in the trash. That is why we promote the “Don’t buy, rent” approach. Our rental services conserve resources, reduce electronic waste and CO2 emissions. Customers return the devices if they cancel their contract. The devices are then either refurbished and rented out again or properly recycled. We have simplified the return process by introducing a returns portal. The online portal enables customers to manage their own returns. We actively and effectively promote the rental service in many ways including at Telekom Shops, online, via customer service and in product flyers. The offer has been well received by our customers; the number of people using the rental service increased to just over 10 million by the end of 2018.

Number of users of the router and media receiverrental service

More sustainable SIM cards from the supermarket

Customers who value sustainability when shopping at the supermarket have also been able to buy more sustainable mobile SIM cards at EDEKA since 2018. The new “EDEKA smart” mobile rate, developed by Deutsche Telekom and EDEKA as part of a strategic partnership, offers various sustainability benefits: These include a smaller SIM card holder that saves 50 percent material, and packaging that is climate-neutral and printed on grass paper. This paper is made half from sun-dried grass and recycled paper. Production of this grass packaging – which takes place entirely without process chemicals – saves up to 75 percent in CO2 emissions. What’s more, one euro of each start kit sold goes to the WWF’s forest conservation program. If a cell phone breaks later, “EDEKA smart” customers can have their device repaired at a discount. And if a repair is no longer viable, old cell phones and SIM cards that aren’t needed anymore can be sent to the Telekom Recycling Center. We have hence created an additional mobile device return option, in addition to our other various drop-off sites and collection campaigns, which we discuss in our CR Report.

We already started reducing the size of SIM card holders at the company in 2017. In 2018, we successfully saved 1.4 metric tons of plastic within the Group. For 2019 we expect to achieve savings of more than 17 metric tons. 

End to paper: Fewer paper bills thanks to opt-out solution

Since mid-2018, we have informed our customers that we will gradually stop using paper bills – unless our customers actively object. Sending bills by post consumes resources, including wood for making the paper, ink for printing and fuel for transport. Electronic bills will be issued in our online customer portal. Customers who want to continue receiving their bills the traditional way can of course request this and will continue to receive them – free of charge – in their mailbox.

Sustainable product and packaging design

Our aim is to make our products as sustainable and green as possible – from the packaging to the device. One example is the new Speedport Pro router. Its inner workings consist of recycled plastic. To protect it during transport, we also use PaperFoam – a material made of industrial starch, cellulose fibers and water that can be disposed of with paper waste or composted. The soft surface of the material means that we can also omit the additional protective casing when packaging the Speedport Pro. The router will come on the market in 2019.

The use of sustainable materials and processes when designing a product is usually associated with higher costs. This is especially critical with products for which our customers are less willing to pay more. It is therefore important in these cases to find compromises between our sustainability standard on the one hand and economic constraints on the other.

Product certifications: demonstrably sustainable

Sustainable products are a key factor in competition for us. In order to inform our customers about the sustainability benefits of our products, we rely on recognized ecolabels, such as the Blue Angel in Germany. Most fixed-line phones and our entire media receiver product family boast the Blue Angel label. In 2018, the 401 and 601 SAT media receivers also received the certificate as additional models in the series. Devices certified with this ecolabel also contain information for customers as to how the products can be used in an energy-efficient manner. In addition to the Blue Angel, we have also increasingly been using the TÜV Green Product Label. In addition to ecological criteria, this also requires inspections of working conditions at production sites. A number of our routers, including the Speedport Neo, have already been certified by the TÜV Green Product Label.

The labels not only serve as information for our customers, however. Their strict requirements also help us see how we can further improve our products.

Cornelia Szyszkowitz

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Clothing that connects

Clothing has many functions: It should keep us warm, flatter our figure and type, and at times also make a statement. But clothing can do even more. In the future it will help us, for example, to lead a healthier life. Or it will transform the idea of inclusion into material and thread. 

The designers of “Project Love” show what that could look like. They help provide people whose bodies don’t match “normal sizes” with fashionable clothing that fits perfectly. They produce tailor-made items of clothing using body scanners, 3D printers and conventional sewing machines. The two German designers from “Smart Orthosis” also focus on another important topic. They have developed a top that eases back pain. It’s equipped with heating areas and vibration elements. It thus corrects the posture of the wearer and reduces pain. The top can be connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth and controlled by an app. 

Deutsche Telekom wants to promote ideas at the interface between technology and fashion, which is why we launched the “Fashion Fusion” program in 2016 together with partners. As part of the program, an ideas competition was held for the third time in 2018, aimed at start-ups and young entrepreneurs from the fields of fashion, technology and product design – such as “Project Love” or “Smart Orthosis”. Those taking part in the competition had the opportunity to develop prototypes of their ideas. They were provided with the necessary work materials and could draw on expert knowledge. In 2018, a top-class jury selected three winning teams from eight finalists at the Berlin Fashion Week.

Connected T-Shirts save Firefighters' Lives

The development program Connected Things Integrator by Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary T-Systems developed an innovative shirt to protect people in high-risk jobs like firefighting. It tracks the person’s vital signs and also tells the incident commander the location, movements, and recent body orientation of a missing team member. In 2018, the Krefeld Fire Department tested the innovation during a practice operation to experience the opportunities telematics can offer for minimizing the risk in fire-service operations.

The shirt is equipped with a “pod” – a telematics unit located right below the nape of the wearer’s neck. Thin, barely perceptible heat- and sweat-resistant wires run through the fabric in random, meandering loops that allowed the shirt to be stretched and washed. They transmit the firefighter’s heart rate as captured by two sensors on the side of the chest. At the same time, a next-generation accelerometer in the pod detects the firefighter’s every movement. An algorithm combines the rotation and translation of the GPS-enabled pod over six different axes. The advanced mathematics allows the device to track the wearer’s location and movements. A memory chip records the raw data in order to instantly recognize any type of adverse event. A fall, for example, could be instantly reported wirelessly to an IoT platform in the cloud. The platform generally communicates with the Incident Commander’s tablet over the Internet, but also manages the pods and pushes out regular updates to them.

Firefighters respond to home fires in Germany with some 200,000 operations every year and this innovation can mean a significant improvement to the safety of firefighters in life-threatening situations. The Connected Things Integrator will continue to work on developing the shirt further in order to incorporate additional helpful information channels. And if the invention can save just one life, it will already have been a resounding success.

Fairphone 2 at T-Mobile Austria

T-Mobile Austria actively supports Dutch company Fairphone in its efforts to raise awareness of fair electronics and promote responsibility in the industry. In 2018, the company extended its support to Austrian Fairphoners, the first Austrian Fairphone community. It also provided financial aid for the Global 2000 Fairness Run community fund in Vienna and the Südwind Street Festival. The Austrian Fairphoners community aims to connect Fairphone users in Austria and to spread the word about the Fairphone movement.

T-Mobile Austria is one of the first mobile network providers in the world and the only provider in Austria to combine a mobile contract with Fairphone 2, the first sustainable and socially responsible smartphone. The company has been offering this product since early 2016. It gives new and current customers an opportunity to choose a sustainable way of life when it comes to their smartphones.

Fairphone focuses on four main challenges: to make mining at the beginning of the value chain, design, production, and the product life cycle more sustainable and transparent. In order to achieve this goal, the company cooperates with initiatives for the extraction of tin and tantalum from conflict-free mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sources conflict-free tungsten from Rwanda. It also created the first pilot supply chain for fair-trade gold in smartphones and promotes longevity through the modular product design of Fairphone 2. Spare parts for Fairphone 2 can also be ordered through T-Mobile Austria so as to facilitate long-term use of the product.

Collection of used mobile devices in Germany

Our contribution to the SDGs

Germany’s recycling and reuse rate for small electronic appliances is too low. Too many used cell phones, smartphones and tablets are stuck in drawers or disposed of illegally with the household waste. But these devices should be refurbished and reused or properly recycled to help us conserve valuable resources. We have been offering different ways for people to hand in their devices since 2003. Customers have been able to return their used, high-end cell phones and smartphones to Telekom Shops under a buyback program since 2013. They receive store credit from the Telekom Shop reflecting their old device’s current value, which they can use to purchase a new device, or they can choose to have the amount booked to their customer account. Business customers can send in their used cell phones and smartphones through a special buyback portal, which we created in 2016. After the device’s value has been determined, the amount can be paid out or donated to a charitable organization. Together with company Teqcycle Solutions we also operate the Cell Phone Collection Center online portal. Through this portal, authorities, associations and other organizations have the opportunity to start collection campaigns for donating used cell phones and smartphones. The website provides an overview of these partners and the collection campaigns they conduct. Campaigns took place in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Saarland and North Rhine-Westphalia during the reporting period. At the end of the year we donated the proceeds from the devices collected through recycling and reuse to Netzwerk Entwicklungspolitik Saarland e.V. and the Freiburg “Natur und Mensch” (Nature and man) musuem to thus support educational projects.

In 2018 we collected exactly 187,028  used cell phones and smartphones throughout Germany and either reused them or had them properly recycled. During the cell phone collection campaign we use a data erasure process that is DEKRA certified and complies with strict data protection requirements. Defective cell phones or devices where certified data erasure would be too costly are properly recycled using state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly processes at the Telekom Recycling Center. Up to 100 percent of the materials can then be reused – as recycled metals or for energy generation.

We depict the relationship between commercially sold and collected cell phones with our Take Back Mobile Devices ESG img KPI img. Around 308,000 mobile devices were collected throughout the Group (not including T-Mobile US, AMC, Maktel, Crnogorski Telekom) in 2017.

Support of various collection campaigns
As in previous years, we supported the Die-Handy-Aktion cell phone campaign conducted by different church-affiliated groups in the state of Baden-Württemberg in 2018 as well. Together with the Ministry of the Environment of Baden-Württemberg, the campaign partners carried out a large number of measures in the educational sector. For example, they redesigned the “cell phone raw materials kit” with the German Mineral Resources Agency and presented it to school classes and youth groups. The kit contains various minerals that are used in cell phones. Using accompanying teaching materials, teachers can explain the significance of the raw materials in smartphones to their students.

The “Responsibility and Sustainability. Join in!” collection campaign in the state of Saarland, which we have been supporting since 2014, was renamed “Handy-Aktion Saarland” (Saarland cell phone campaign) in 2018. We are still a cooperation partner to the campaign, which focuses on projects such as providing special course material on the topics of cell phone collection and resource efficiency. Mutual cell phone collection campaigns with Saarland companies and institutions are a further focus.

Information and recycling for World Environment Day
As part of World Environment Day we informed our customers in June 2018 about sustainable smartphone use and recycling used phones. On a special website set up for World Environment Day they were able, for example, to find out how the life of a smartphone can be extended and which collection points they can take their phone to at the end of its life cycle for it to be repaired or recycled. The tips were compiled by the Deutsche Telekom “Computerhilfe” service and additionally provided in the form of a readily understandable infographic. The infographic also includes current facts and figures on valuable resources in smartphones and their recycling. In the short video “Telekom Netz Tour 2018: Zerstören für die Nachhaltigkeit” (Telekom network tour 2018: destroying for sustainability) we also explain how we recycle and re-use smartphones.

Cornelia Szyszkowitz

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Cornelia Szyszkowitz

Handset Reuse and Recycling in Austria

Since 2014, all smartphones sold by T-Mobile Austria have been sold unlocked. This makes it easy to pass on used devices to friends and family, or sell them online. It therefore increases the value of the original investment.

T-Mobile has been offering to repurchase used mobile devices since 2011. The "How I want it Principle" (“Wie-Ich-Will-Prinzip”) has given this program new dynamic momentum. The "Mobile Phone Purchase" app provides transparent information about the expected sales value of the used device. It is purchased by T-Mobile shops in return for credit notes. The buyback is also offered to customers of other operators.

Recycling is carried out in partnership with Teqcycle Solutions. The Munich-based company is certified for its high environmental standards and ensures secure deletion of the device memory so that personal data cannot fall into unauthorized hands. The devices are then refurbished and resold by mobile phone shops, online exchanges, and other channels. If the devices are broken or their technology is outdated, Teqcycle ensures that they are recycled in Europe under controlled conditions.

As part of its legal obligation, T-Mobile naturally also accepts old devices from customers when they no longer function properly and the devices are appropriately recycled. This process supports DEBRA Austria (the association for those affected by the skin disease epidermolysis bullosa, also known as "butterfly children") and Children's Cancer Aid in Austria:  T-Mobile makes a donation to one of the two organizations for each mobile phone handed in.

Handset Recycling in the USA

T-Mobile USA’s device recycling program mobilizes customers to help reduce environmental and human health impacts from improper recycling. This program also increases access to quality reusable and refurbished equipment for those who need it, while conserving our limited natural resources.

Any wireless consumer can bring any make, model or carrier phone, battery, accessory, tablet or netbook into any T-Mobile USA location to be recycled for free. Through the JUMP! and Mobilize programs, T-Mobile USA incentivizes its customers to trade in their used devices and accessories for great deals on the latest technology. Those trade-ins are all reused, refurbished or recycled.

T-Mobile USA launched the recycling program for its customers in 2008, resulting in over 22.9 million devices being resold since then. 85% of the devices that are taken back are resold, with the rest being responsibly recycled by providers selected on the basis of their leading industry environmental certification. With the program, T-Mobile USA is contributing to the group-wide initiative “Stop Wasting – Start Caring!”.

In 2018, T-Mobile USA collected 3,917,572 used cell phones.

Hazard information via smartphone

Major fires, the spread of hazardous substances, power failures, storms or floods: To ensure that citizens can respond quickly to hazardous situations, the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BKK) has developed NINA, the emergency information and notification app. It warns citizens within 30 seconds via a push alert, thus showing how digital solutions can not only make our lives easier, but also safer. In addition, NINA provides assistance to users through recommendations on how to behave in a given situation and general emergency tips on how to best prepare for risks. The app is currently already being used by more than four million people, and the figure should rise to five million by 2020. The BKK is working with T-Systems to implement NINA. The fail-safe and powerful infrastructure of T-Systems forms the basis for the mobile warning system.

Accessible products and services

Our contribution to the SDGs

Deutsche Telekom wants to make it easier for people with disabilities to have access to the knowledge and information society.

Services for the hearing impaired
We set up a hotline (Deaf Hotline) for deaf and hearing-impaired customers in 2003. Up to 50 people currently call the hotline every day to get help with connections to their DSL img routers, to find out more about special cell phone rate plans or to make an appointment with a technician. The employees of the Deaf Hotline are equipped with live consultant workplaces that have HD cameras, among other things. Customers and live consultants can see each other using a video-based live chat application and can communicate with each other in sign language.

For deaf customers and members of the German association for the deaf, Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e.V., we operate a special online distribution site. There we offer a discounted mobile communications and fixed-line portfolio that is tailored to the exact needs of deaf people. Customers can order their desired plans directly on the website, can contact the employees of the Deaf Hotline or be forwarded to the information exchange platform Deaf-Café in the Telekom Hilft community. The Deaf-Café provides a safe space to discuss or clarify questions about Telekom offerings together with other deaf people in groups and forums.

In addition, all of our fixed-line Entertain products, including on HD stations, have featured subtitles since 2018. They thus give hearing-impaired customers barrier-free access.

Since the summer of 2018, hearing-impaired people in Germany have had access to a 24-hour emergency call service with sign language interpreters through the Tess/Telesign interpreter relay service for emergency situations. Accessibility and trouble-free transmission of this service are now possible thanks to sufficient data volumes in the mobile phone contracts and adequate network coverage. Tess/Telesign is jointly financed by the mandatory social security contribution paid by Deutsche Telekom to Germany’s Federal Network Agency.

Engagement for hearing impaired people in Slovakia
About 1% of the population in Slovakia is hearing impaired, and Slovak Telekom is very active in developing comprehensive programs and activities to support them in ordinary everyday living situations. We also help families with hearing-impaired children to master their everyday lives. Another aim is to raise public awareness about the challenges they face.

As a carrier, we provide significant support for the hearing impaired and offer them an advantageous plan and a mobile data package. In 2018, Telekom updated its special mobile plan for hearing-impaired people that includes unlimited SMS and up to 8GB of mobile data at a price of € 12 per month. In addition, Telekom offers hearing-impaired people a preferential Mobile Internet L Plan with 15 GB of data for € 0.99 per month. This represents a discount of more than 95 percent.  

Navigation stick for visually impaired people in Czech Republic
As a socially responsible company, T-Mobile Czech Republic aims to support visually impaired people. We have been cooperating with the Czech Technical University to develop a unique navigation solution for the blind. Connecting global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) and wireless data transfer networks has created one of the most advanced orientation solutions for visually impaired people. T-Mobile Czech Republic has supported the development of this navigation solution by providing connectivity in 3G img and 4G, data SIM cards and modems. The newly developed navigation stick for blind people is connected to  the navigation center. Based on a 2G-4G app, the service enables navigation data, voice communication, and images to be transferred. Formerly, the stick was connected to the smart phone but now the communication interface, camera and mobile phone are installed directly in the stick.  Camera is utilized for orientation in buildings where GNSS does not work. A testing phase was completed in 2017 and pilot operation was running in 2018. After a redesign and various improvements, a prototype of a new-generation stick has been completed. The final product has to be certified  by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs as a special aid tool in order to offer it to the visually impaired people for free. The production should be launched in Q3 this year. The supplier will be Svarovsky Ltd., the largest manufacturer of sticks for visually impaired people in the EU.

Supporting start-ups: creating space for ideas

Our contribution to the SDGs

hubraum is the leading Deutsche Telekom start-up program. Its mission is to connect external start-ups with relevant business units at our Group in order to jointly develop innovative products for our consumer and business customers. To that end, hubraum offers entrepreneurs seed funding from a separate investment fund and targeted innovation programs with a view to strategic growth fields and technologies of Deutsche Telekom.

Since the establishment of hubraum in 2012, we have built up a strategic investment portfolio of more than 25 companies and worked with an additional approx. 300 start-ups in Europe and Israel – in areas such as Realtime Gigabit Society (e.g., 5G and Edge Cloud), Smart Data Economy (e.g., AI and process automation) and Internet of Things (e.g., Narrowband IoT and Industry 4.0 img).

The hubraum campus at the Berlin location has one of the first 5G networks in Europe and is equipped with an edge cloud infrastructure. In addition to an office space for teamwork and mentoring, start-ups there have exclusive access to networks, product platforms and test data from our Group and can thus accelerate setting up their business. In 2018, 30 projects were implemented in the hubraum Edge and 5G prototyping programs. These will be continued in 2019.

During the same period, 36 projects were carried out in the IoT innovation program – with solutions for NB IoT or LTE M networks and our Group’s Industrial IoT portfolio. Examples of start-ups that took part in our LTE M program:

  • The Slovenian start-up Trapview offers a solution for agriculture: Sensors determine if and to what extent plants have been infested with pests. This enables accurate coordination of the use of pesticides to match actual need and reduces any resulting adverse impact on the environment.
  • Neebo, a start-up from Great Britain, has developed a sensor wristband for babies. It allows the child’s vital signs, such as breathing and pulse, to be monitored via smartphone. 
  • HUBforKIDS is an initiative from hubraum in Krakow whose goal is to use technology to set up global CSR projects and support their growth in order to promote the future sustainability of society. In its current stage, the initiative is focusing, for example, on improving the situation for children in Polish orphanages.

Support for internal “start-ups”
Since 2011 we have been helping our employees develop their own concepts for new services and business areas at Deutsche Telekom into projects that are eligible for funding within the context of the UQBATE internal innovation program. Employees can present their ideas to interested colleagues on the UQBATE platform, create teams and then work together to turn their ideas step by step into products that are ready to go to market. Examples of concepts that have been implemented include the eParkomat and IndeeWork projects.

Take-offs Program Supports Regional Start-ups in Czech Republic

2018 saw the eighth round of the Take-offs program. The T-Mobile Czech Republic program provides financial support, long-term professional advice, and expertise to regional start-ups. The overall aim is to help potential entrepreneurs, who often come from vulnerable backgrounds (people in regions of high unemployment, women on maternity leave, senior or handicapped citizens, students without work experience).

Out of 483 registered projects this year, 40 regional winners were chosen and announced by an expert jury at 9 regional workshops, free of charge for all interested participants and with 500 participants. The regional winners all receive support from experts in marketing, communication, and finance, as well as tangible, financial support worth EUR 4,500.

The public was invited to select the overall winner from 40 regional winners. More than 11,000 people took part in the online voting and selected Filip Hausknecht and his “Social Roof” project (social bistro that employs homeless people and people released from prison) as the overall public winner to receive an award worth EUR 4,600. A professional jury also selected a national winner. This year Pavel Buben and his Glucly project (application for people with diabetes) was selected as the national winner and received prizes worth a total of EUR 21,150.

The Take-offs again enjoyed significant media coverage. The winners were invited to present their projects on TV and radio, as well as in various print and online media.

Environmental Data from Space

Deutsche Telekom was commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop a Cloud Platform providing access to satellite data. T-Systems will use the Copernicus Data and Information Access Service (Copernicus DIAS) to provide mass data from the European Earth observation program through the Open Telekom Cloud. Companies can then access the data free of charge and use it directly in the cloud for commercial purposes. The high-quality photographs generate valuable environmental parameters in six areas: land monitoring, marine monitoring, atmosphere monitoring, climate change, emergency management response, and security. Indeed, Copernicus data and information have been used to show the extent and magnitude of damage caused by forest fires (Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal), earthquakes (Mexico), hurricanes (countries hit by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria), and floods (Ireland, Germany), and helped rescue teams deal with these natural disasters.

Because Copernicus DIAS is a Cloud service, it is able to democratize access to European satellite data. In the past, few companies could afford the time and resources for downloading, saving and processing this continuously generated data.

Copernicus DIAS from the Open Telekom Cloud has been available since 2018. In addition to providing up-to-date earth observation data in the Open Telekom cloud, Deutsche Telekom is also maintaining a comprehensive database archive.