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Accounting policies

Key assets and liabilities shown in the consolidated statement of financial position are measured as follows:

 

 

Items in the statement of financial position

Measurement principle

Assets

 

Current assets

 

Cash and cash equivalents

Amortized cost

Trade receivables

Depending on the underlying business model in each case: at amortized cost, at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss, or at fair value through profit or loss

Contract assets

Amortized cost

Current recoverable income taxes

Amount expected to be recovered from the taxation authorities, using the tax rates that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the end of the reporting period

Other financial assets

 

Originated loans and other receivables

Depending on the underlying business model in each case: at amortized cost, at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss, or at fair value through profit or loss

Equity instruments

Fair value through other comprehensive income without recycling to profit or loss

Derivative financial assets

At fair value through profit or loss or, in the case of certain hedging relationships, at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss

Inventories

Lower of net realizable value and cost

Non-current assets and disposal groups held for sale

Lower of carrying amount or fair value less costs of disposal (including allocable liabilities)

Non-current assets

 

Intangible assets

 

Of which: with finite useful lives

Amortized cost or lower recoverable amount

Of which: with indefinite useful lives (including goodwill)

Cost or lower recoverable amount (impairment-only approach)

Property, plant and equipment

Amortized cost or lower recoverable amount

Right-of-use assets

Amortized cost or lower recoverable amount

Capitalized contract costs

Amortized cost or lower recoverable amount

Investments accounted for using the equity method

Pro rata value of the investment’s equity carried forward or lower recoverable amount

Other financial assets

 

Originated loans and other receivables

Depending on the underlying business model in each case: at amortized cost, at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss, or at fair value through profit or loss

Equity instruments

Fair value through other comprehensive income without recycling to profit or loss

Derivative financial assets

At fair value through profit or loss or, in the case of specific hedge accounting, at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss

Deferred tax assets

Non-discounted amount measured at the tax rates that are expected to apply to the period when the asset is realized or the liability settled

Liabilities

 

Current liabilities

 

Financial liabilities

 

Non-derivative interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing liabilities

Amortized cost

Derivative financial liabilities

At fair value through profit or loss or, in the case of certain hedging relationships, at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss

Lease liabilities

Amortized cost

Trade payables

Amortized cost

Income tax liabilities

Amount expected to be paid to the taxation authorities, using the tax rates that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the end of the reporting period

Other provisions

Present value of the settlement amount

Contract liabilities

Amortized cost

Non-current liabilities

 

Financial liabilities

 

Non-derivative interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing liabilities

Amortized cost

Derivative financial liabilities

At fair value through profit or loss or, in the case of certain hedging relationships, at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss

Lease liabilities

Amortized cost

Provisions for pensions and other employee benefits

Actuarial projected unit credit method

Other provisions

Present value of the settlement amount

Contract liabilities

Amortized cost

Deferred tax liabilities

Non-discounted amount measured at the tax rates that are expected to apply to the period when the asset is realized or the liability settled

The material principles on recognition and measurement set out below were applied uniformly to all accounting periods presented in these consolidated financial statements.

Intangible assets

Intangible assets with finite useful lives, including 5G, LTE, UMTS, and GSM licenses, are measured at cost and generally amortized on a straight-line basis over their useful lives. Such assets are impaired if their recoverable amount, which is measured at the higher of fair value less costs of disposal and value in use, is lower than the carrying amount. Indefinite-lived intangible assets (mobile communications licenses granted by the Federal Communications Commission in the United States (FCC licenses)) are carried at cost. While FCC licenses are issued for a fixed time, renewals of FCC licenses have occurred routinely and at negligible costs. Moreover, Deutsche Telekom has determined that there are currently no legal, regulatory, contractual, competitive, economic, or other factors that limit the useful lives of the FCC licenses, and therefore treats the FCC licenses as an indefinite-lived intangible asset. They are not amortized, but tested for impairment annually or whenever there are indications of impairment and, if necessary, written down to the recoverable amount. If the reasons for recognizing the original impairment loss no longer apply, impairment losses are reversed taking amortization into account, i.e., not exceeding the value that would have been applied if no impairment losses had been recognized in prior periods.

Intangible assets may also be acquired in connection with a frequency or spectrum exchange. The costs of intangible assets acquired in such a barter transaction are measured at fair value if the swap has commercial substance and the fair value of the asset received and the asset given up is reliably measurable. If the barter transaction lacks commercial substance or the fair value of neither the asset received nor the asset given up is reliably measurable, the carrying amount of the asset given up is used as the fair value of the asset received.

Limited-term spectrum leases normally satisfy the recognition criteria because the lessors fulfill their performance obligations on entering into the contract, which means there are no more executory contracts. Acquired television, film, and sports rights (media broadcasting rights) are recognized if the content is sufficiently developed to satisfy the identifiability criterion.

On initial recognition, the intangible asset and the corresponding financial liability are measured only on the basis of the minimum contract term. Where a right of termination exists, the period beyond the effective date of the earliest possible termination is not considered on initial recognition. Where a right of renewal exists, the renewal period is not considered on initial recognition.

The useful lives and the amortization methods of the intangible assets are reviewed at least at each financial year-end. If expectations differ from previous estimates, the changes are recognized as changes in accounting estimates in accordance with IAS 8.

Amortization of mobile communications licenses begins as soon as the related network is ready for use. The useful lives of mobile communications licenses are determined based on several factors, including the term of the licenses granted by the respective regulatory body in each country, the availability and expected cost of renewing the licenses, as well as the development of future technologies.

The useful lives of Deutsche Telekom’s most important mobile communications licenses are as follows:

 

 

Mobile communications licenses

Years

FCC licenses

Indefinite

5G licenses

19 to 23

LTE licenses

6 to 25

UMTS licenses

17 to 19

GSM licenses

7 to 27

Expenditures for internally generated intangible assets incurred during the development phase are capitalized if they meet the criteria for recognition as assets, and are amortized over their useful lives. Research expenditures are expensed as incurred. Development is the application of research findings or other knowledge to a plan or design for the production of new or substantially improved materials, devices, products, processes, systems, or services prior to the commencement of commercial production or use. Examples of activities typically included in development are the design, construction, and testing of pre-production or pre-use prototypes and models involving new technology. The development phase is deemed complete when the IT department has formally documented that the capitalized asset is ready for its intended use.

Goodwill is not amortized, but is tested for impairment based on the recoverable amount of the cash-generating unit to which the goodwill is allocated (impairment-only approach). The impairment test is carried out on a regular basis at the end of each financial year, as well as whenever there are indications that a carrying amount of the cash-generating unit is impaired.

Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment is carried at cost less straight-line depreciation, and impairment losses, if applicable. The depreciation period is based on the expected useful life of the assets. Items of property, plant and equipment are depreciated pro rata temporis in the year of acquisition. The residual values, useful lives, and the depreciation methods of the assets are reviewed at least at each financial year-end. If expectations differ from previous estimates, the changes are recognized as changes in accounting estimates in accordance with IAS 8. In addition to directly attributable costs, the costs of internally developed assets include proportionate indirect material and labor costs, as well as administrative expenses relating to production or the provision of services. In addition to the purchase price and costs directly attributable to bringing the asset to the location and condition necessary for it to be capable of operating in the manner intended by management, costs also include the estimated costs for dismantling and removing the asset, and restoring the site on which it is located. If an item of property, plant and equipment consists of several components with different estimated useful lives, those components that are significant are depreciated over their individual useful lives. Maintenance and repair costs are expensed as incurred. If an asset is owned and a portion is used as an item of property, plant and equipment while another physically distinct portion of the owned asset is leased under an operating lease (e.g., office floors of a building or individual optical fibers of a cable), the portion of the asset that is leased is not presented separately.

Public investment grants reduce the cost of the property, plant and equipment for which the grants were made.

Investment grants are recognized when there is reasonable assurance that the entity will comply with the conditions attached to them, and the grants will be received in the full amount. If this reasonable assurance already exists when the contract is being concluded, the grant is recognized in full under other financial assets upon conclusion of the agreement, with a matching non-financial other liability for the build-out obligation. In subsequent periods, the financial asset measured at amortized cost is reduced upon receipt of the payments. The other liability is derecognized on a pro rata basis as the build-out progresses, reducing the carrying amount of the publicly funded property, plant and equipment. If there is not yet reasonable assurance, only the installment payments received are recognized, with a matching non-financial other liability. As soon as there is reasonable assurance, outstanding grants are recognized under other financial assets, and the carrying amounts of the other liability and the publicly funded property, plant and equipment are adjusted in accordance with the actual build-out progress. All grants received are recognized in net cash used in/from investing activities.

On disposal of an item of property, plant and equipment or when no future economic benefits are expected from its use or disposal, the carrying amount of the item is derecognized. The gain or loss arising from the disposal of an item of property, plant and equipment is the difference between the net disposal proceeds, if any, and the carrying amount of the item and is recognized as other operating income or other operating expenses when the item is derecognized. The useful lives of the main asset classes are shown in the table below:

 

 

Asset classes

Yearsa

Buildings

25 to 50

Technical equipment and machinery

2 to 35

Other equipment, operating and office equipment

2 to 23

a

The useful lives indicated represent the maximum number of years as specified by the Group. The actual useful lives may be shorter due to contractual arrangements or other specific factors such as time and location.

Leasehold improvements are depreciated over the shorter of their useful lives or terms of the lease.

Borrowing costs

Borrowing costs that are directly attributable to the acquisition, construction, or production of a qualifying asset are capitalized as part of the cost of that asset. Deutsche Telekom defines qualifying assets as construction projects or other assets for which a period of at least twelve months is necessary in order to get them ready for their intended use or sale. Borrowing costs relating to assets measured at fair value and to inventories that are manufactured or produced in large quantities on a repetitive basis are not capitalized.

Impairments of intangible assets, items of property, plant and equipment, and right-of-use assets

Impairments are identified by comparing the carrying amount with the recoverable amount. If individual assets do not generate future cash flows independently of other assets, recoverability is assessed on the basis of the larger cash-generating unit to which the assets belong. At each reporting date, Deutsche Telekom assesses whether there is any indication that an asset may be impaired. If any such indication exists, the recoverable amount of the asset or cash-generating unit must be determined. In addition, annual impairment tests are carried out for intangible assets with indefinite useful lives (goodwill and FCC licenses) at regular intervals. For the purpose of impairment testing, goodwill acquired in a business combination is allocated to each of the cash-generating units that are expected to benefit from the synergies of the combination. If the carrying amount of the cash-generating unit to which goodwill is allocated exceeds its recoverable amount, goodwill allocated to this cash-generating unit must be reduced in the amount of the difference. Impairment losses for goodwill must not be reversed. If the impairment loss recognized for the cash-generating unit exceeds the carrying amount of the allocated goodwill, the additional amount of the impairment loss is to be distributed on a pro rata basis to the assets allocated to the cash-generating unit. The fair values or values in use (if measurable) of the individual assets shall be considered to be the minimum values. If the reasons for previously recognized impairments no longer exist, the impairment losses on the assets concerned (with the exception of goodwill) must be reversed.

The recoverable amount of a cash-generating unit is measured at the higher of fair value less costs of disposal and the value in use. The recoverable amount is generally determined by means of a discounted cash flow (DCF) calculation, unless it can be determined on the basis of a market price. These DCF calculations use projections that are based on financial budgets approved by management covering a ten-year period and are also used for internal purposes. The planning horizon reflects the assumptions for short- to mid-term market developments. Cash flows beyond the ten-year period are extrapolated using appropriate growth rates. For the key assumptions on which management has based its calculation of the recoverable amount, please refer to the explanations provided under “Judgments and estimates,” further on in this section.

Inventories

Inventories are carried at cost at initial recognition and are subsequently measured at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Cost comprises all costs of purchase, costs of conversion, and other costs incurred in bringing the inventories to their present location and condition. Cost is measured using the weighted average cost method. Net realizable value is the estimated standalone selling price in the ordinary course of business less the estimated costs of completion and the necessary estimated selling expenses.

Non-current assets and disposal groups held for sale

Non-current assets and disposal groups held for sale are classified as such if their carrying amount will be recovered principally through a sale transaction rather than through continuing use. These assets are measured at the lower of the carrying amount and fair value less costs of disposal and classified as non-current assets and disposal groups held for sale. Such assets are no longer depreciated. Impairment of such assets is recognized if fair value less costs of disposal is lower than the carrying amount. If fair value less costs of disposal subsequently increases, the impairment loss previously recognized must be reversed. The reversal of impairment losses is limited to the impairment losses previously recognized for the assets concerned. If the requirements for the classification of assets as held for sale are no longer met, the assets may no longer be shown as held for sale. The assets are to be measured at the lower of the carrying amount that would have applied if the asset had not been classified as held for sale, and the recoverable amount at the date at which the requirements for the classification as held for sale are no longer met.

Employee benefits

Deutsche Telekom maintains defined benefit pension plans in various countries on the basis of the pensionable compensation of its employees and their length of service. Some of these pension plans are financed through external pension funds and some through incorporation in a contractual trust agreement (CTA). Provisions for pensions are actuarially measured using the projected unit credit method for defined benefit pension plans, taking into account not only the pension obligations and vested pension rights known at the reporting date, but also expected future salary and benefit increases. The interest rate used to determine the present value of the obligations is generally set on the basis of the yields on high-quality corporate bonds in the respective currency area. The return on plan assets and interest expenses resulting from the unwinding of the discount are reported in profit/loss from financial activities. Service cost is classified as operating expenses. Past service cost resulting from a change in the pension plan shall immediately be recognized in the income statement in the period in which the change took effect. Gains and losses arising from adjustments and changes in actuarial assumptions are recognized immediately and in full in the period in which they occur outside profit or loss within equity. Some Group entities grant defined contribution plans to their employees in accordance with statutory or contractual requirements, with the payments being made to state or private pension insurance funds. Under defined contribution plans, the employer does not assume any other obligations above and beyond the payment of contributions to an external fund. The amount of the future pension payments will exclusively depend on the contribution made by the employer (and their employees, if applicable) to the external fund, including income from the investment of such contributions. The amounts payable are expensed when the obligation to pay the amounts is established, and classified as expenses.

Up until December 31, 2012, Deutsche Telekom maintained a joint pension fund, Bundes-Pensions-Service für Post und Telekommunikation e.V., Bonn (Federal Pension Service for Post and Telecommunications – BPS-PT), together with Deutsche Post AG and Deutsche Postbank AG for civil-servant pension plans. BPS-PT made pension and allowance payments to retired employees and their surviving dependents who are entitled to pension payments as a result of civil-servant status. The German Act on the Reorganization of the Civil Service Pension Fund (Gesetz zur Neuordnung der Postbeamtenversorgungskasse – PVKNeuG) transferred the functions of BPS-PT relating to civil-servant pensions (organized within the Civil Service Pension Fund) to the German Federal Posts and Telecommunications Agency effective January 1, 2013. The level of Deutsche Telekom AG’s payment obligations to the Civil Service Pension Fund is defined under § 16 of the German Act on the Legal Provisions for the Former Deutsche Bundespost Staff (Postpersonalrechtsgesetz). Deutsche Telekom AG has been legally obligated since 2000 to make an annual contribution to the special pension fund amounting to 33 % of the pensionable gross emoluments of active civil servants and the notional pensionable gross emoluments of civil servants on leave of absence. Deutsche Telekom is not required to fulfill any other obligations in respect of pensions for civil servants. The payment obligations are therefore to be considered defined contribution plans.

In the past, Deutsche Telekom AG and its domestic subsidiaries agreed on phased retirement arrangements with varying terms and conditions, predominantly based on what is known as the block model. Two types of obligations, both measured at their present value in accordance with actuarial principles, arise and are accounted for separately. The first type of obligation relates to the cumulative outstanding settlement amount, which is recorded on a pro rata basis during the active or working phase. The cumulative outstanding settlement amount is based on the difference between the employee’s remuneration before entering phased retirement (including the employer’s social security contributions) and the remuneration for the part-time service (including the employer’s social security contributions, but excluding top-up payments). The second type of obligation relates to the employer’s obligation to make top-up payments plus an additional contribution to the statutory pension scheme. Top-up payments are often hybrid in nature, i.e., although the agreement is often considered a form of compensation for terminating the employment relationship at an earlier date, payments to be made at a later date are subject to the performance of work in the future. Despite having the characteristics of severance payments, the top-up payments must be recognized ratably over the vesting period due to their dependency on the performance of work in the future. If the block model is used, the vesting period for top-up payments starts when the employee is granted the entitlement to participate in the phased retirement program and ends upon entry into the passive phase (leave from work).

Obligations arising from the granting of termination benefits are recognized when Deutsche Telekom does not have a realistic possibility of withdrawal from the granting of the corresponding benefits. Severance payments for employees and obligations arising in connection with early retirement arrangements in Germany are mainly granted in the form of offers to the employees to leave the Company voluntarily. As a rule, such obligations are not recognized before the employees have accepted an offer from the Company, unless the Company is prevented by legal or other restrictions from withdrawing its offer at an earlier date. Obligations arising from the sole decision by the Company to shed jobs are recognized when the Company has announced a detailed formal plan to terminate employment relationships. If termination benefits are granted in connection with restructuring measures within the meaning of IAS 37, a liability under IAS 19 is recognized at the same time as a restructuring provision. Where termination benefits fall due more than twelve months after the reporting date, the expected amount to be paid is discounted to the reporting date. If the timing or the amount of the payment is still uncertain at the reporting date, the obligations are reported under other provisions.

Other provisions

Other provisions are recognized for current legal or constructive obligations to third parties that are uncertain with regard to their timing or their amount. Provisions are recognized for these obligations provided they relate to past transactions or events, will more likely than not require an outflow of resources to settle, and this outflow can be reliably measured. Provisions are carried at their expected settlement amount, taking into account all identifiable risks and uncertainties. The settlement amount is calculated on the basis of a best estimate; suitable estimation methods and sources of information are used depending on the characteristics of the obligation. In the case of a number of similar obligations, the group of obligations is treated as one single obligation. The expected value method is used as the estimation method. If there is a range of potential events with the same probability of occurrence, the average value is taken. Individual obligations (e.g., legal and litigation risks) are regularly evaluated based on the most probable outcome, provided an exceptional probability distribution does not mean that other estimates would lead to a more appropriate evaluation. The measurement of provisions is based on past experience, current costing, and price information, as well as estimates and reports from experts. If experience or current costing or price information is used to determine the settlement amount, these values are extrapolated to the expected settlement date. Suitable price trend indicators (e.g., construction price indexes or inflation rates) are used for this purpose. Provisions are discounted when the effect of the time value of money is material. Provisions are discounted using pre-tax market interest rates that reflect the term of the obligation and the risk associated with it (insofar as not already taken into consideration in the calculation of the settlement amount). Reimbursement claims are not netted against provisions; they are recognized separately as soon as their realization is virtually certain.

Provisions for decommissioning, restoration, and similar obligations arising from the acquisition of property, plant and equipment are offset by a corresponding increase in the capitalized cost of the relevant asset. Changes at a later date in estimates of the amount or timing of payments or changes to the interest rate applied in measuring such obligations also result in retrospective increases or decreases in the carrying amount of the relevant item of property, plant and equipment. These in turn change the depreciation of the asset to be recognized in the future, which leads to the changes in estimates being recognized in profit or loss over the remaining useful life. Where the decrease in the amount of a provision exceeds the carrying amount of the related asset, the excess is recognized immediately in profit or loss.

Financial instruments

Financial instruments are recognized as soon as Deutsche Telekom becomes a party to the contractual regulations of the financial instrument. However, in the case of regular way purchase or sale, the settlement date is relevant for the initial recognition and derecognition. This is the day on which the asset is delivered to or by Deutsche Telekom. In general, financial assets and financial liabilities are offset and the net amount presented in the statement of financial position when, and only when, the entity currently has a right to offset the recognized amounts and intends to settle on a net basis. Transferred financial assets are derecognized in full if substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership are transferred or if some of the risks and rewards of ownership are transferred (risk sharing) and the acquirer has both the legal and the practical ability to sell the assets to a third party. If, in cases where risk is shared, the acquirer is unable to sell the assets to a third party, the assets will continue to be recognized to the extent of the maximum risk retained. Financial liabilities are derecognized when the obligation specified in the contract expires or if there is a substantial modification of the terms of the contract.

Financial assets include cash and cash equivalents, trade receivables, originated loans and other receivables, investments in equity instruments, and derivative financial assets. They are measured at fair value upon initial recognition. For all financial assets not subsequently measured at fair value through profit or loss, the transaction costs directly attributable to the acquisition are taken into account plus, in the case of debt instruments held, a loss account for expected credit losses. The fair values recognized in the statement of financial position are generally based on market prices of the financial assets. If these are not available, the fair value is determined using standard valuation models on the basis of current market parameters. For the classification and measurement of debt instruments held, the respective business model for managing the debt instruments and whether the instruments have the characteristics of a standard loan, i.e., whether the cash flows are solely payments of principal and interest, is relevant. Assuming the assets have these characteristics and if the business model is to hold to collect the asset’s contractual cash flows, they are measured at amortized cost. If the objective of the business model is to hold to collect and sell the contractual cash flows, they are measured at fair value through other comprehensive income with recycling to profit or loss. In all other cases, financial assets are measured at fair value through profit or loss. There may be different business models for separate portfolios of the same types of debt instruments, for example if factoring transactions exist for certain trade receivables.

Cash and cash equivalents include cash accounts and short-term cash deposits at banks; they have maturities of up to three months at initial recognition.

Trade receivables and originated loans and other receivables are measured at their transaction price at initial recognition if they do not contain a significant financing component. Instruments with a significant financing component are initially measured at fair value.

Investments in equity instruments represent strategic investments. Deutsche Telekom has exercised the option of generally measuring these through other comprehensive income without recycling to profit or loss. This is due to the fact that Deutsche Telekom’s primary goal for strategic investments is not a short-term maximization of profit (trading). The acquisition and disposal of strategic investments is based on business policy considerations.

Dividends received are recognized immediately in profit or loss unless they constitute a repayment of capital.

Derivative financial assets that are not part of an effective hedging relationship are measured at fair value through profit or loss.

In the consolidated statement of cash flows, Deutsche Telekom reports cash flows from interest and dividends received as cash inflows or outflows in net cash from operating activities.

Financial liabilities are measured at fair value on initial recognition. For all financial liabilities not subsequently measured at fair value through profit or loss, the transaction costs directly attributable to the acquisition are also a component of the carrying amount.

If the contractual payment term for liabilities to suppliers is longer than the normal credit period in the relevant procurement market at this point in time, this liability is reported under other interest-bearing liabilities in financial liabilities instead of under trade payables. A financing agreement of this nature is shown as a non-cash transaction in the consolidated statement of cash flows and the relevant repayment of the financial liability reported under net cash from/used in financing activities. This applies regardless of whether the supplier sells its receivable or not.

For further information on the effects on the consolidated statement of cash flows, please refer to Note 35 “Notes to the consolidated statement of cash flows.”

Derivative financial liabilities that are not part of an effective hedging relationship are measured at fair value through profit or loss.

Deutsche Telekom has not yet made use of the option to designate financial instruments upon initial recognition as at fair value through profit or loss.

At initial recognition, debt instruments that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss are measured including a loss allowance account for expected credit losses. For trade receivables with and without a significant financing component, contract assets, and lease assets, the loss allowance is calculated at an amount equal to the lifetime expected credit losses. For all other instruments, the loss allowance is determined at an amount equal to the lifetime expected credit losses if the credit risk on that financial instrument has increased significantly since initial recognition. Otherwise, the loss allowance is calculated at an amount equal to twelve-month expected credit losses. In this case, losses incurred later than twelve months after the reporting date would therefore not be considered.

When a loss allowance for expected credit losses is being determined, the historical probability of default supplemented by the relevant future parameters for the credit risk is used as the basis for the calculation. For debt instruments traded in an active market, publicly available market data is used to determine the loss allowance for expected credit losses.

The loss allowance takes adequate account of the future expected credit risk; write-offs lead to the derecognition of the respective receivables. For allowances, financial assets are grouped together on the basis of similar credit risk characteristics, tested collectively for impairment, and written off, if necessary. The cash flows are discounted on the basis of the weighted average of the original effective interest rates of the financial assets in the relevant portfolio. Impairments of trade receivables are recognized in some cases using allowance accounts. The decision to account for credit risks using an allowance account or by directly reducing the receivable will depend on the reliability of the risk assessment. As there are a variety of operating segments and regional circumstances, this decision is the responsibility of the respective portfolio managers.

Deutsche Telekom uses derivatives to hedge the interest rate and currency risks resulting from its operating, financing, and investing activities. The Company does not hold or issue derivatives for speculative trading purposes. Derivatives are carried at their fair value upon initial recognition and also for subsequent measurement. The fair value of traded derivatives is equal to their market price, which can be positive or negative. If there is no market price available, the fair value is determined using standard financial valuation models.

The fair value of derivatives is the price that Deutsche Telekom would receive or have to pay if the financial instrument were transferred at the reporting date. This is calculated on the basis of the counterparties’ relevant exchange rates and interest rates at the reporting date. Calculations are made using average rates. In the case of interest-bearing derivatives, a distinction is made between the clean price and the dirty price (full fair value). In contrast to the clean price, the dirty price also includes the interest accrued. The fair values carried correspond to the dirty price.

Embedded derivatives must be separated from financial liabilities and other non-financial contracts that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss if the economic characteristics and risks of the embedded derivative are not closely related to the economic characteristics and risks of the host contract. These derivatives must then be recognized separately and measured at fair value through profit or loss. Derivatives embedded in financial assets do not need to be separated, however. In such cases, the entire instrument must be measured at fair value through profit or loss.

Recording the changes in the fair values – either in profit or loss or directly in equity – depends on whether or not the derivative is part of an effective hedging relationship as set out in IFRS 9. If hedge accounting is not applied, the changes in the fair values of the derivatives must be recognized immediately in profit or loss. If, on the other hand, effective hedge accounting exists, the hedge will be recognized as such.

Deutsche Telekom applies hedge accounting to hedged items in the statement of financial position and future cash flows, thus reducing income statement volatility. A distinction is made between fair value hedges, cash flow hedges, and hedges of a net investment in a foreign operation depending on the nature of the hedged item. Hedging relationships are exclusively accounted for in accordance with the requirements of IFRS 9. Deutsche Telekom has exercised the option of designating cross-currency basis spreads as hedging costs rather than as part of the hedging relationship and presenting them separately in equity. To hedge the currency risk of an unrecognized firm commitment, Deutsche Telekom makes use of the option to recognize it as a cash flow hedge rather than a fair value hedge. In the case of fair value hedges, the cumulative adjustments to the carrying amount of the hedged item are amortized when the hedging relationship has been discontinued.

IFRS 9 sets out strict requirements on the use of hedge accounting. Deutsche Telekom complies with these requirements by documenting, at the inception of a hedge, both the relationship between the financial instrument used as the hedging instrument and the hedged item, as well as the risk management objective and the risk strategy of the hedge. This involves concretely assigning the hedging instruments to the corresponding assets or liabilities or (firmly committed/highly probable) future transactions and also assessing the effectiveness of the hedging instruments designated. The effectiveness of existing hedging relationships is monitored on an ongoing basis. If the criteria for applying hedge accounting are no longer met, the hedging relationship will be de-designated immediately.

Deutsche Telekom does not use hedge accounting in accordance with IFRS 9 to hedge the foreign-currency exposure of recognized monetary assets and liabilities, because the gains and losses on the hedged item from currency translation that are recognized in profit or loss in accordance with IAS 21 are shown in the income statement together with the gains and losses on the derivatives used as hedging instruments.

Contingencies (contingent liabilities and assets)

Contingencies (contingent liabilities and assets) are potential liabilities or assets arising from past events whose existence will be confirmed by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not entirely within the control of Deutsche Telekom. Contingent liabilities are also present obligations that arise from past events for which an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits is not probable or for which the amount of the obligation cannot be measured with sufficient reliability. Contingent liabilities are only recognized at their fair value if they were assumed in the course of a business combination. Contingent liabilities not assumed in the course of a business combination are not recognized. Contingent assets are not recognized. However, when the realization of income is virtually certain, then the related asset is no longer a contingent asset, but it is recognized as an asset. Information on contingent liabilities is disclosed in the notes to the consolidated financial statements, unless the possibility of an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits is remote. The same applies to contingent assets where an inflow of economic benefits is probable.

Leases

A lease is a contract in which the lessor conveys the right to use an asset for a period of time to the lessee in exchange for consideration, typically a payment or series of payments. The scope of IFRS 16 applies to standard lease, rental, and tenancy agreements as well as agreements in which the lessee is granted other rights to use assets, such as certain easements. A lease only exists if the contract conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset to the lessee. The lessee has control when it has the right to obtain substantially all of the economic benefits from use of the identified asset and the right to direct the use of the identified asset.

Lessee. At the commencement date of the lease, a lessee recognizes a right-of-use asset and a lease liability in the statement of financial position for all leases. The right-of-use asset is measured applying the cost model and the lease liability is measured at the present value of the future lease payments. This measurement concept also applies to leases for which the underlying asset is of low value and to short-term leases for which the lease term is no longer than twelve months. Non-lease components are not separated from lease components, i.e., all non-lease payments due under the contract are also recognized in the statement of financial position. This practical expedient does not include contracts relating to data centers, which due to their special requirements in terms of equipment and premises form their own separate class of underlying asset. For this class of assets, the non-lease payments are recognized as an expense. IAS 38 is applied for leases of intangible assets rather than IFRS 16.

The lease liability is recognized at the present value of the future lease payments to be made over the reasonably certain lease term. Lease payments are all of the fixed and in-substance fixed payments, less any future lease incentives payable by the lessor. Variable lease payments that depend on an index or a rate, amounts expected to be payable under residual value guarantees, and payment for the exercise of reasonably certain purchase and termination options are also measured and recognized as part of the lease liability. The series of payments is discounted at the interest rate implicit in the lease or, if that rate cannot be readily determined, at the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate. The incremental borrowing rate is determined by deriving benchmark interest rates for a period of up to 30 years from maturity-related risk-free interest rates which are increased by a credit-risk premium and adjusted for a liquidity and country-risk premium. All other variable payments are recognized as an expense. The lease liability is subsequently measured using the effective interest method.

The cost of the right-of-use asset comprises: the amount of the initial measurement of the lease liability; any lease payments made at or before the commencement date, less any lease incentives received from the lessor; any initial direct costs incurred for obtaining the lease; the costs for preparing the leased asset for its intended use; and an estimate of any future dismantling and restoration costs. The right-of-use asset is subsequently depreciated on a straight-line basis over the lease term and, if applicable, reduced by any impairment losses. If ownership of the leased asset is transferred to the lessee at the end of the lease term, or if it is reasonably certain that a purchase or put option will be exercised, the right-of-use asset is depreciated from the commencement date to the end of the useful life of the underlying asset.

The lease term is the period during which it is reasonably certain that an underlying asset will be used by the lessee. The lease term includes the non-cancelable period of a lease together with periods covered by options to extend the lease, if their exercise is reasonably certain, and periods covered by termination options, if it is reasonably certain that the termination option will not be exercised. This estimate is reassessed either upon the occurrence of an event or a significant change in circumstances that is within the control of the lessee and affects a change in lease term. The lease term will be revised if an extension option not previously included in the entity’s determination of the lease term is exercised or a termination option not previously included in the entity’s determination of the lease term is not exercised. The revision of the lease term leads to a change in the future series of lease payments and therefore to a remeasurement of the lease liability using a revised current discount rate. The amount of the resulting difference is recognized outside profit or loss as an adjustment to the right-of-use asset or is offset against it. Derecognition amounts that exceed the carrying amount of the right-of-use asset are recognized as an income in profit or loss.

A lease modification that substantially increases the scope of the original lease is accounted for as a separate lease if both the lessee is granted an additional right to use one or more underlying assets and the consideration for the lease increases by an amount commensurate with the stand-alone price for the increase in scope that the lessee would otherwise have to pay for use if it had leased these assets from a third party under a separate lease.

For lease modifications that increase the scope of a lease but are not accounted for as a separate lease, the required remeasurement of the lease liability is accounted for outside profit or loss as an adjustment to the carrying amount of the right-of-use asset and the lease liability for the existing lease. If a lease modification decreases the scope of the lease, the lessee also remeasures both the right-of-use asset and the lease liability and recognizes any gain or loss in profit or loss. The modified amounts are measured at the modification date with a revised discount rate.

Lessor. If a lease does not transfer substantially all risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying asset to the lessee (operating lease), the leased asset is recognized in the statement of financial position by the lessor. Measurement of the leased asset is then based on the accounting policies applicable to the underlying asset. The lease payments, including contractually defined future changes in the lease payments, are recognized in profit or loss by the lessor. Contractually defined future changes in the lease payments during the term of the lease are recognized as lease revenue on a straight-line basis over the lease term, which is assessed at the commencement date of the contract. Where extension options exist, the exercise of those extension options that are reasonably certain is initially taken into account at the time the lease is concluded. If, contrary to the original expectation, these options are exercised or not exercised during the lease term, the previously assessed term will be revised and taken into account in the recognition of future lease revenue from operating lease transactions.

If substantially all risks and rewards incidental to ownership of the underlying leased asset are transferred to the lessee (finance lease), the lessor recognizes at the commencement date, in place of the leased asset, a finance lease receivable at an amount equal to the net investment in the lease. The net investment is defined as the discounted aggregate of future lease payments and any unguaranteed residual value accruing to the lessor (gross investment). The lease payments made by the lessees are split into an interest component and a principal component using the effective interest method. In subsequent measurement, the lease receivable is reduced by the principal lease payments received. The interest component of the payments received is recognized as finance income over the lease term in the consolidated income statement.

Under business models in which Deutsche Telekom is classified as a manufacturer or dealer lessor within the meaning of IFRS 16, revenue from finance leases is recognized at the date at which the asset is made available for use to the lessee at the fair value of the underlying leased asset or, if lower, the present value of the payments including any guaranteed residual value and presented as lease revenue. The selling profit or loss from the finance lease is realized in the amount of the difference between the revenue and the carrying amount of the underlying asset less the present value of the unguaranteed residual value. The finance income (interest income) is subsequently also presented as lease revenue.

For sale and leaseback transactions, if there is a transfer of control within the meaning of IFRS 15, Deutsche Telekom as the seller-lessee measures the right-of-use asset arising from the leaseback at the proportion of the previous carrying amount of the asset that relates to the right of use retained by the seller-lessee. Any gain or loss that relates to the rights transferred to the buyer-lessor is recognized in profit or loss. If there is no transfer of control, the seller-lessee recognizes the transaction as a financing transaction. While the transaction is legally subject to a lease contract, it is not accounted for as a lease and the underlying asset is not derecognized.

Share-based payment programs

Equity-settled share-based payment transactions are measured at fair value on the grant date. The fair value of the obligation is recognized as personnel costs over the vesting period and offset against capital reserves. For equity-settled share-based payment transactions, the fair value is determined using internationally accepted valuation techniques, such as the Black-Scholes model or the Monte Carlo model. For cash-settled share-based payment transactions, the goods and services acquired and the liability incurred are recognized at the fair value of the liability. The fair value of the liability has to be newly determined at each reporting date and at the settlement date, and the changes in the fair value have to be recognized in profit and loss, until the liability is settled.

Net revenue, contract assets and liabilities/contract costs

Revenues include all revenues from the ordinary business activities of Deutsche Telekom. Ordinary activities do not only refer to the core business but also to other recurring sales of goods or rendering of services. However, gains from sales of items of property, plant and equipment or intangible assets are not classified as revenue but as other operating income. All ancillary income in connection with the delivery of goods and rendering of services in the course of an entity’s ordinary activities is also presented as revenue. Examples include dunning fees, contractual penalties, and default interest. Income from interest added back from long-term customer receivables and contract assets is also considered ancillary income in the course of an entity’s ordinary activities where the underlying receivables or contract assets have resulted in the recognition of revenue. Revenues are recorded net of value-added tax and other taxes collected from customers that are remitted to governmental authorities. They are recognized in accordance with the provision of goods or services, provided that collectability of the consideration is probable. For service contracts with a continuous service provision, the contractually agreed total consideration is recognized as revenue on a straight-line basis over the minimum contract term, regardless of the payment pattern.

A contract asset must be recognized when Deutsche Telekom recognized revenue for fulfillment of a contractual performance obligation before the customer paid consideration or before – irrespective of when payment is due – the requirements for billing and thus the recognition of a receivable exist.

A contract liability must be recognized when the customer paid consideration or a receivable from the customer is due before Deutsche Telekom fulfilled a contractual performance obligation and thus recognized revenue. In a customer contract, contract liabilities must be set off against contract assets.

Multiple-element arrangements involving the delivery or provision of multiple products or services must be separated into distinct performance obligations, each with its own separate revenue contribution that is recognized as revenue on fulfillment of the obligation to the customer. At Deutsche Telekom, this especially concerns the sale or lease of a mobile handset or other telecommunications equipment combined with the conclusion of a mobile or fixed-network telecommunications contract. The total transaction price of the bundled contract is allocated among the individual performance obligations based on their relative – possibly estimated – standalone selling prices, i.e., based on a ratio of the standalone selling price of each separate element to the aggregated standalone selling prices of the contractual performance obligations. As a result, the revenue to be recognized for products (often delivered in advance) such as mobile handsets that are sold at a subsidized price in combination with a long-term service contract is higher than the amount billed or collected. This leads to the recognition of what is known as a contract asset – a receivable arising from the customer contract that has not yet legally come into existence – in the statement of financial position. The contract asset is reversed and reduced over the remaining minimum contract period, reducing revenue from the other performance obligations (in this case: mobile service revenues) compared with the amounts billed. In contrast to the amounts billed, this results in higher revenue from the sale of goods and merchandise and lower revenue from the provision of services.

Customer activation fees and other advance one-time payments by the customer that do not constitute consideration for a separate performance obligation are deferred as contract liabilities and recognized as revenue over the minimum contract term or, in exceptional cases (e.g., in the case of contracts that can be terminated at any time) over the expected contract period. The same applies to fees for installation and set-up activities that do not have an independent value for the customer.

As distinct from promotional offers, options to purchase additional goods or services free of charge or at a discount are separate performance obligations (material rights) for which part of the revenue is deferred as a contract liability until the option is exercised or expires, providing the discount on future purchases is an implicit component of the consideration for the current contract and is also significant. The measure of significance is whether the decision by the (average) customer to enter into the current contract is likely to have been significantly influenced by their right to the future discount. Offers for volume discounts for the purchase of additional core products of an entity (e.g., a discount offered on an additional fixed-network contract for mobile customers) are considered by Deutsche Telekom as promotional offers for which customers do not (implicitly) pay as part of the current contract.

Long-term customer receivables (e.g., arising from sales of handsets in installments), contract assets (e.g., arising from the subsidized sale of a handset in connection with the conclusion of a long-term customer contract), or contract liabilities (e.g., arising from a prepayment by the customer) are recognized at present value if the financing component is significant in relation to the total contract value (i.e., including those performance obligations that do not contain a financing component). The discount rate also reflects the customer credit risk. Deutsche Telekom makes use of the option not to recognize a significant financing component if the period between when a good or service is transferred to the customer and when the customer pays for that good or service will be one year or less.

Payments to customers including credits or subsequent discounts are recognized as a reduction in revenue unless the payment constitutes consideration for a distinct good or service from the customer, for which the fair value can be reasonably estimated.

Gross vs. net presentation. In cases where a company is in an intermediary position between another supplier/vendor (e.g., manufacturer, wholesaler) and a retail customer, it must be assessed whether the company itself supplies the relevant product or provides the service requested by the customer as the principal or whether the company merely acts as the agent for the supplier. The outcome determines whether the entity can recognize revenue on a gross basis (as the principal) or on a net basis after deducting the costs to the supplier (as the agent). For Deutsche Telekom, the question arises particularly in the case of digital services (e.g., streaming services, cloud-based software as a service) purchased from third parties and sold to retail customers as part of Deutsche Telekom’s product portfolio. In summary, in case of rights to another party’s goods or services, Deutsche Telekom considers itself to be the principal vis-à-vis the retail customer if all of the following conditions are met and thus reports gross revenues:

  • Deutsche Telekom has a contractual enforceable right to receive the predefined services “on demand” at predefined (fixed or variable) prices, and accordingly the other party has entered into an enforceable ongoing commitment to provide them.
  • Deutsche Telekom sells access to the other party’s services in its own name and for its own account under a contract between Deutsche Telekom and the retail customer.
  • Deutsche Telekom has discretion in setting the price for the other party’s services sold for its own account.

Contract costs comprise the incremental costs of obtaining a contract (mainly sales commission paid to employees and third-party retailers in the direct and indirect sales channel) and the costs to fulfill a contract. These must be capitalized if it can be assumed that the costs will be compensated by future revenue from the contract. Incremental costs of obtaining a contract are additional costs that would not have been incurred had the contract not been concluded. Costs to fulfill a contract are costs relating directly to a contract that are incurred after contract inception and serve the purpose of fulfilling the contract but are incurred prior to fulfillment and cannot be capitalized under any other standard. Deutsche Telekom makes use of the option to immediately recognize contract costs whose amortization period would not be more than one year as an expense.

The capitalized contract costs are generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the expected contract period. The expenses are disclosed in Deutsche Telekom’s income statement, not under depreciation and amortization but – depending on the sales channel – as goods and services purchased or personnel costs.

In the indirect sales channel, third-party retailers often arrange service contracts on behalf of and for the account of Deutsche Telekom (as the agent) in connection with the sale of subsidized handsets in their own name and for their own account (as the principal). In such cases, the retailers receive commission in an amount that explicitly or implicitly compensates them for the handset subsidy granted. As in the case of multiple-element arrangements in the direct sales channel, the customer ultimately covers the handset subsidy by paying a price above the standalone selling price for the service contract. Deutsche Telekom considers this an implicit promise to the customer that on conclusion of this service contract they will be able to purchase a handset at a discounted price. The only difference between this promise and the purchase of a service in the direct sales channel is that it is not Deutsche Telekom that is granting the discount as part of a multiple-element arrangement but a third-party retailer that is compensated for it by Deutsche Telekom through the commission it receives for arranging the service contract. As, from an economic substance perspective, these payments constitute indirect payments by Deutsche Telekom to customers, the portion of the commission payments attributable to the (implicit) cost reimbursements to the retailer is not capitalized as contract costs but as a contract asset and is therefore recognized as a reduction of the service revenues over the contract term rather than as an expense. This ensures that the amount of the service revenues generated with retail customers for identical rate plans does not depend on the type of sales channel.

Depending on the business model, revenue recognition at Deutsche Telekom is as follows:

The mobile and fixed-network business of the Germany, United States, Europe, and Group Development operating segments includes mobile services, narrow- and broadband access to the fixed network and the internet, television via internet, connection and roaming fees billed to other fixed-network and mobile operators (wholesale business), and sales or lease of mobile handsets, other telecommunications equipment, and accessories. Revenue generated from the use of voice and data communications as well as television via internet is recognized upon rendering of the agreed service. The services rendered relate to use by customers (e.g., call minutes), availability over time (e.g., monthly flat rates), or other agreed rate plans. Revenue and expenses associated with the sale of telecommunications equipment and accessories are recognized when the products are delivered, provided there are no unfulfilled company obligations that affect the customer’s final acceptance of the arrangement. Revenue from the lease of mobile handsets and telecommunications equipment that is not considered a sale in economic terms is recognized monthly as the entitlement to the fees accrued. Advertising revenues are recognized in the period in which the advertisements are exhibited.

Trade-in rights for used handsets which are granted to customers upon contract conclusion under the condition of a new purchase transaction (including renewal of an existing service contract) do not constitute repurchase arrangements; however, if the repurchase prices exceed the fair value of the handsets these rights must be recognized as separate performance obligations for which part of the contractual revenue is deferred until they are exercised or expire.

Particularly in the mobile communications business, the timing of payments for mobile handsets purchased in connection with the conclusion of a service contract differs from the timing of the delivery and hence from revenue recognition. Where a significant financing component exists, revenue is measured at the present value. Whereas the sale of subsidized handsets in connection with the conclusion of service contracts in the consumer business is still common in the Germany operating segment and also to some extent in the Europe operating segment, handsets are not sold at a discount at all, or only to a limited extent, in the United States and to some extent in the Europe operating segments; payment-by-installment models or lease models are offered to customers instead. In both the subsidy model and the payment-by-installment model, an asset must thus be recognized at the date of revenue recognition and is generally settled over a 24-month service contract term through payments made by the customer. The only difference is that with the subsidy model it is a contract asset that is repaid through the portion of the monthly bill that exceeds the allocated monthly service revenues. By contrast, the payment-by-installment model involves an existing legal customer receivable that is settled based on an installment plan – separately from the monthly billing for telecommunications services.

The Systems Solutions operating segment provides, among other things, IT services and network services for corporate customers including IT outsourcing services and the sale of hardware including desktop services. Revenue from service contracts is recognized as the service is performed, i.e., normally on a pro rata basis over the contract term. Revenue from service contracts billed on the basis of time and material used is recognized at the contractual hourly rates as labor hours are delivered and direct expenses are incurred.

Revenue from hardware sales or sales-type leases is recognized when the product is shipped to the customer, provided there are no unfulfilled company obligations that affect the customer’s final acceptance of the arrangement. Any costs of these obligations are recognized when the corresponding revenue is recognized.

Revenue from construction contracts and construction-type service contracts (or elements of service contracts), for which a defined output is promised (e.g., IT developments), is recognized using the percentage-of-completion method. The measure of progress or stage of completion of a contract is generally determined as the percentage of cost incurred up until the reporting date relative to the total estimated cost at the reporting date (cost-to-cost method). In particular for complex outsourcing contracts with corporate customers, a reliable estimate of the total cost and therefore of the stage of completion is not possible in many cases, so revenue is only recognized in the amount of the contract costs expensed. This means that a proportionate profit is not realized until the contract has been completed (zero-profit method).

Revenue from non-sales-type rentals and leases is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

Income taxes

Income taxes include current income taxes as well as deferred taxes. Current and deferred tax assets and liabilities must be recognized where they are probable. They are measured in accordance with the tax laws applicable or already announced as of the reporting date, provided said announcement has the effect of actual enactment. Where uncertain tax assets or uncertain tax liabilities are recognized because they are probable, these must be measured at their most probable amount. In exceptional cases the expected value is considered. Where current and deferred taxes are recognized, they must be reported as income or expense except to the extent that the tax arises from a transaction which is recognized outside the consolidated income statement, either in other comprehensive income or directly in equity, or in connection with a business combination. Current tax assets and current tax liabilities and deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are offset in the statement of financial position if Deutsche Telekom has a legally enforceable right to set off current tax assets against current tax liabilities, has an intention to settle net, and the deferred tax assets and the deferred tax liabilities relate to income taxes levied by the same taxation authority.

Current tax assets and current tax liabilities must be recognized in the amount that Deutsche Telekom expects to settle with or recover from the tax authorities. They include liabilities/receivables for the current period as well as for prior periods.

Deferred taxes are recognized for temporary differences between the carrying amounts in the consolidated statement of financial position and the tax base, as well as for tax loss carryforwards and tax credits. As an exception to this principle, a deferred tax liability is not recognized for temporary differences if the deferred tax liability arises from the initial recognition of an asset or a liability in a transaction which is not a business combination and, at the time of the transaction, affects neither IFRS accounting profit (before taxes) nor taxable profit/tax loss. Nor is a deferred tax liability recognized for temporary differences arising from the initial recognition of goodwill. A deferred tax liability is generally recognized for temporary differences associated with investments in subsidiaries, joint arrangements, and associates, unless Deutsche Telekom is able to control the timing of the reversal of the temporary difference and it is probable that the temporary differences will not reverse in the foreseeable future.

5G
New communications standard (launched from 2020), which offers data rates in the gigabit range, converges fixed-network and mobile communications, and supports the Internet of Things.
Glossary
Desktop services
Global desktop services involve a variety of support services, including the outsourcing of entire IT networks. In this context, Deutsche Telekom offers a full portfolio of corporate IT services, from server infrastructure and PC workstations through to application management and call center services that provide user support.
Glossary
LTE – Long-Term Evolution
4G mobile communications technology that uses, for example, wireless spectrum on the 800 MHz band freed up by the digitalization of television. Powerful TV frequencies enable large areas to be covered with far fewer radio masts. LTE supports speeds of over 100 Mbit/s downstream and 50 Mbit/s upstream.
Glossary
Mobile customers
In the combined management report, one mobile communications card corresponds to one customer. The totals were calculated on the basis of precise figures and rounded to millions or thousands. Percentages were calculated on the basis of the figures shown (see also SIM card).
Glossary
Optical fiber
Channel for optical data transmission.
Glossary
Retail
The sale of goods and services to end users, as opposed to resale or wholesale.
Glossary
Roaming
Refers to the use of a communication device or just a subscriber identity in a visited network rather than one’s home network. This requires the operators of both networks to have reached a roaming agreement and switched the necessary signaling and data connections between their networks. Roaming comes into play, for example, when cell phones and smartphones are used across national boundaries.
Glossary
Wholesale
Refers to the business of selling services to third parties who sell them to their own retail customers either directly or after further processing.
Glossary