T-City: A worthwhile experiment

Stephan Althoff, Vice President of Sponsoring, Communications Performance, Events and T-City project leader

Stephan Althoff, Vice President of Sponsoring, Communications Performance, Events and T-City project leader

Mar 30, 2012

An article by Stephan Althoff, Vice President of Sponsoring, Communications Performance, Events and T-City project leader

Five years ago, Deutsche Telekom started a one-of-a-kind experiment with its T-City project in Friedrichshafen. Together with the city, we wanted to demonstrate how innovative information and communication technologies improve the quality of life and community in the city and contribute to increasing the interconnectedness of the various actors. To achieve this, we collaborated with citizens, the city administration, local businesses, clubs and organizations as well as hospitals and doctors in developing project ideas for the life of tomorrow, for which there were no existing solutions available. As the market leader in Germany, we also have a social responsibility to research the effects of our services, and their changes, on the lives of our customers.

Since 2007, we have completed more than 40 projects in T-City that contribute to all areas of business and social life. Citizens, the city administration and companies of Friedrichshafen were the first to test De-Mail, the secure e-mail. This service is being rolled out nationwide this year.

Through the Smart Metering project, we have greatly contributed to increasing efficiency in energy management, and have equipped about 1,600 households with digital meters in collaboration with Technische Werke. Without this kind of intelligent management of energy consumption, achieving the energy transition in Germany would be impossible. Expanding regenerative and decentralized energy sources requires an intelligent network, or else the latter will likely become unmanageable and break down in the medium run.

Another example is "Mobile Home Visit": We started this telemedical project, which was the first of its kind in Germany, in 2007. Health insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and, of course, patients have benefited from this project in equal measure. Finally, thanks to different projects in the area of eGovernment, the city administration in Friedrichshafen has become 20 percent more efficient, positively impacting residents through the reduction of waiting times.

All documentation relating to the T-City project can be found on the current, re-launched website www.t-city.de (German).

By directly collaborating with regional and national partners in a real environment, we gained a deeper understanding of the customers’ requirements and requests. At the other end of the deal, both the quality of life as well as the location quality for businesses has improved in T-City Friedrichshafen. We will be able to evaluate our success decisively by the middle of 2012, when all results become available from the scientific and market research.

Regardless of these results, we can already say with absolute certainty today: T-City is a one-of-a-kind project - an innovative beacon of light with far-reaching significance. Deutsche Telekom cooperated with an entire city: There is no other public-private partnership like it anywhere in the world. That was true from the start in 2007 and still applies today.

We were pioneers at the time, setting significant trends in corporate citizenship. In the context of T-City, the city’s various actors came together, who previously had little or no contact with each other. Topics that normally would have been overlooked were taken up. To sum it up: T-City created the kind of cooperation that other cities should also explore for themselves.

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