Innovation priorities

Where does innovation come from? Everywhere. That is why it is important to ensure we pursue our innovation activities at an intragroup level and that they are aligned with our strategy. Our nine interconnected innovation areas, which are grouped according to the areas of our Group strategy, provide a holistic framework that can be applied across the Group. In addition, the success of our innovations hinges on maintaining our focus on just a handful of topics – but on the right ones. In the reporting year, we continued to evolve our innovation priorities in close coordination with the operating segments.

  • 5G/XR Cloud: With , we are creating the basis for the digital world of tomorrow, especially when it comes to real-time communication. This next-generation technology is the key to innovative applications for virtual reality and extended reality (XR), connected driving, , and Industry 4.0. Our corresponding prototypes include Cloud Gaming beta, campus networks for Industry 4.0, and XR apps for immersive sporting, entertainment, and tourism experiences. In 2019, we also continued the 5G prototyping program in cooperation with our incubator hubraum, and developed our first commercially viable industrial and multimedia applications together with international start-ups.
  • Fixed Wireless Access (FWA): New FWA technologies based on the 60 GHz band achieve bandwidths comparable to , but without the expense of spectrum license fees, and with shorter installation times. They are thus an ideal and efficient way of rolling out broadband in rural regions (virtual optical fiber). We performed successful tests of this technology in 2019 and launched commercial operation of it in Hungary. SDG 9
  • Network Automation: In this newly implemented innovation program, we are developing software solutions for the automated analysis and operation of network infrastructure based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. In the future, these activities will continue under the auspices of the Network Differentiation initiatives. Based on cloud and software technologies, this innovative approach to network production will considerably enhance the user experience and improve both flexibility and scalability, simultaneously lowering production costs and opening up new monetization options.
  • Connectivity: By seamlessly managing the different access technologies from Wi-Fi through to 5G, and combining them with modern data analytics and machine learning processes, we can create a unique connectivity experience. We want our customers to be able to use their digital services and content anytime, anywhere – simply, securely, and in top quality. Step by step, we have made improvements in our existing services and apps, such as the DSL Help app, and added connectivity control to the Connect app. Our next step to achieve seamless customer access will involve integrating the Connect app functions into our subsidiaries’ service apps.
  • Magenta Voice: The second half of 2019 marked the successful launch of Deutsche Telekom’s first smart speaker for the German market. With smart voice control (also known as voicification), we want to further enhance the way our customers experience our services, and to simplify interaction with technology and devices. On top of that, we are continually adding new content to the voice platform and integrating new partners in it.
  • Home Orchestration: We want to improve the customer experience by ensuring easy, seamless, and uniform interaction of all Deutsche Telekom’s services and devices, and by enabling services from selected partners. This integration and orchestration of the home network, TV, smart speakers, smart home applications, and entertainment services has commenced with an array of successful prototypes.
  • Smart City: Deutsche Telekom aims to be a trustworthy, reliable, and long-term partner for municipalities on their path to digitalization. The aim is to deliver future-proof connections and IT solutions for the benefit of residents and visitors, thus helping meet environmental and economic challenges. In partnership with the cities themselves and with the German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB), we are putting in place intelligent services and apps for smart parking, air pollution measurement and control, lighting, waste management, etc., with a view to saving energy, cutting costs, and enhancing the quality of life. In cooperation with Green City Solutions, we launched the first connected CityTree in the German city of Darmstadt. SDG 11

For more information on CityTree, please refer to section “2. Partnerships.”

  • AI Enterprise: By integrating artificial intelligence (AI), we will ensure that our products and services remain competitive into the future. For example, AI turns voice control, which simply compares entered words against a list of keywords, into a smart assistant. In conjunction with effective chatbots in the customer service field (e.g., the Digital Service Assistant), it enables us to free up capacity that can be devoted to further enhancing customer support. The chatbots can be reached at any time of the day or night and handle routine tasks without incurring waiting time for our customers. We are working continuously on the convergence of AI and digital processes, and supplying prototypes for a wide range of internal applications.
  • Big Data: In this new innovation area, our focus is on formulating Group-wide principles for data processing and analytics. A uniform data model will enhance our data analyses and enable us to easily transpose successful analyses to new markets. In this context, we ensure that our customer and network data does not leave the country and data network of the corresponding subsidiary. The privacy and integrity of our customers’ data has top priority. SDG 16
New communications standard, which offers data rates in the gigabit range, converges fixed-network and mobile communications, and supports the Internet of Things – rollout starting 2020.
A bot (short for robot) is a computer program that processes repetitive tasks in a largely autonomous manner without the need for interaction with a human user.
Optical fiber
Channel for optical data transmission.