Deutsche Telekom's transformation and innovation process continues on full steam. At the annual shareholders’ meeting, CEO René Obermann spoke of a "massive task."
Here are key excerpts from his speech.
Obermann on strategy (Fix - Transform - Innovate)
We are already facing the next massive task of transforming and innovating our company. We are evolving the traditional Telekom - which is still heavily regulated and too immobile in structural terms - into what we call a "Telco plus". That means we are building the networks of the future and are complementing our traditional line business with cloud and Internet-based services.
After all, in a few years' time, we intend to more than compensate for the revenue losses in our traditional network business, which is still subject to heavy regulation. We described how we intend to achieve that with our strategy. We defined five growth areas: 1. the mobile Internet, 2. the connected home, 3. ICT solutions for corporate customers, 4. our own Internet services - such as Scout24 or STRATO - and 5. intelligent network solutions for other industries.
It still takes far too long to turn good ideas into marketable products. But even if we improve considerably on that front, we won't be able to do it on our own. We need partnerships and one or two specific additions to our portfolio. And I'm not talking about take-overs worth billions upon billions - we're not planning any of those at the moment.
Obermann on growth opportunities
A growing number of people use mobile devices to surf the Internet. In 2011, worldwide sales of smartphones and tablets will outstrip those of PCs and notebooks for the first time. In the first quarter of 2011, almost 60 percent of all cell phones we sold in Germany were smartphones. In total, we sold more than 800,000 smartphones - 300,000 of them iPhones. Accordingly, revenue in the growth area of mobile Internet is growing - in the first quarter by 32 percent to EUR 384 million in Germany, an increase of 28 percent to EUR 1.2 billion worldwide.
Obermann on the sale of T-Mobile USA
In the coming years, we would have had to invest many billions of dollars in network expansion and additional mobile communications licenses in that market. And that with a relatively low market share. At the same time, our Group will have to invest considerable sums in new broadband networks here in Europe, too. So we had to prioritize.
Obermann on concrete goals
What we said was: We plan to virtually double our revenues from the new growth areas by 2015. Of this, we achieved over EUR 1.5 billion in 2010 - and, in the first three months of 2011, revenues grew again by another EUR 400 million.
Obermann on staff restructuring
There can be no question: If we are to make our company fit for the future, restructuring has to continue in the coming years. But that also means that we are hiring new employees. We plan around 18,000 new hires throughout Europe in 2011 and 2012, more than 10,000 of them in Germany alone - and around half from the ranks of our internally-trained junior staff.