We again made significant investments in the broadband and fiber-optic buildout, our IP
We are building an IP-based network with high transmission bandwidths so that, in the future, we can offer our customers competitive high-speed lines, e.g., by migrating our VDSL network to vectoring technology. In addition, we are investing heavily to offer greater coverage and even higher speeds in rural areas as well. We are also using innovative products for this purpose – like our hybrid router, which combines the transmission bandwidths of fixed-network and mobile communications, thus enabling much higher transmission speeds.
Part of our network strategy is to also systematically build out our mobile networks with 4G/LTE technology to increase transmission rates in all our national companies. Thanks to investments in our 4G/LTE network, our customers enjoy better network coverage with fast mobile broadband. In 2018, we already supplied about 98% of the population of Germany with LTE (97 % in Europe). This puts us right on schedule to reach our goal of 99 percent network coverage by 2020.
In this section, we will introduce some "Smart Innovation" solutions. The associated business models are based on the most advanced technology and provide an immediate value-add for our customers. At the same time, these solutions are also making an ecological and/or social contribution to society.
We are, for example, utilizing future-oriented and widely available technologies to make cities viable for the future and to develop solutions for social challenges. For this, we are relying on innovative NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) technology, with which we are paving the way for the Internet of Things. NB-IoT devices have a large operating range and long battery service lives. Consequently, this technology provides the basis for many innovative uses that are both cost- and energy efficient. Particularly useful areas of application for NB-IoT are, for instance, smart parking, smart cities, smart meters, as well as transport and logistics solutions.
In early 2019, NB-IoT was already available in more than 2.000 cities and municipalities in Germany, for instance in the metropolitan areas of Berlin/Potsdam, Cologne/Bonn, the Ruhr district, Mannheim/Heidelberg, and Stuttgart. Progressive rollout in the coming months will see many more cities in ten additional countries being equipped with the new infrastructure. In addition to the USA and Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, as well as the Czech Republic and Croatia will be included in this rollout. Additionnally, we have rolled out NB-IoT in eight other European markets as well as the USA: The countrywide rollout in the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia and the USA is completed. In Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Greece many cities are equipped with the new NB-IoT infrastructure.
In the area of e-health, we are highlighting, for the reporting year, two innovative applications that provide added social value, in particular, for our customers and for society: the game Sea Hero Quest gives scientists important insights into the spatial navigation ability of individuals of all ages, within minutes – and thus 150 times faster than with conventional research methods. Gamers thus make a direct contribution to dementia research while having fun. The other e-health solution, iMedOne® ,(oder Link in Kapitel wo dazu was steht) is a hospital information system. It creates optimal conditions for connected work and supports hospital processes in multiple ways. This means that physicians and nursing staff, for instance, are able to access required data and functions at all times and everywhere. This makes a significant contribution to cost-efficiency and quality improvement. An efficient and fully integrated hospital information system that can be used on mobile devices thus improves the quality of care.
The goals of preventing traffic jams and reducing CO2 emissions pose major challenges to cities and communities. Digital applications can help cut pollution and save drivers time by improving the flow of traffic. One example of this is the Park and Joy app, which we launched in Hamburg in 2017. The app pinpoints and navigates drivers to free parking spaces. It also enables users to pay for their parking directly and extend the parking time as required on the move.
In 2018, the app already covered some 30,000 parking spaces in 40 different towns and cities. Numerous other towns and cities are to be added in 2019.