Nadja Kirchhof


Cables for the climate: Deutsche Telekom digitizing UN Climate Change Conference

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  • IT infrastructure and wireless communications for major, city-sized event
  • Smart host: Bonn taking off digitally
  • Climate-friendly: Digitization spawns sustainability
Image COP23

Deutsche Telekom is supplying the "Conference of the Parties" (COP23) climate change conference in Bonn with Internet and wireless communications. More than 25,000 visitors are expected from November 6–17. It is estimated that over 7,000 of them will access the mobile communications network per day during this time. To meet this demand, Deutsche Telekom began laying fiber-optic cables at the Rheinaue location this past summer. In addition to expanding the existing network at the World Conference Center Bonn (WCCB), Deutsche Telekom is also supplying communications infrastructure to two "tent cities" with a total area of some 48,000 m². Dedicated antennas will cover the enormous demand for mobile communications capacity throughout the event. Fast, high-performance Internet access will provide the technical foundation to the UN, the delegations and media representatives at this working conference, which is a follow-up to the 2015 Paris climate summit.
"We are pleased to be able to contribute our concentrated expertise and experience to an international mega-event like this," says Walter Goldenits, chief technologist at Telekom Deutschland. "The demand is comparable to that of a small city. We are happy to rise to the challenge. We're ready to go and are looking forward to supporting the conference."

From Bonn to New York, via the Fiji Islands: always live

Deutsche Telekom has laid around 25 kilometers each of cable and copper for the two temporary tent cities alone; for comparison, this would be enough to supply a small city. The meadows on the Rheinaue, the location of the conference, are getting modern, broadband communications technology that future events will also be able to use. The fiber-optic links will also increase the long-term attraction of the WCCB as a conference location. They will permit interested parties around the world to watch conferences, podium discussions and keynote speeches at COP23 live.
Digitization doesn't stop with the cabling, either: in cooperation with the Walker Institute at the University of Reading in the UK, a robot will serve as an avatar for students in Reading, linking them virtually with the conference participants in Bonn.

Smart host: Digital upgrades for Bonn

The City of Bonn, together with Deutsche Telekom, is using COP23 as a springboard to a digital, sustainable future. Like many other major cities in Europe, the local city government has recognized the potential cost and energy savings offered by smart city solutions. This not only helps with climate protection, but also makes a major contribution toward improving the quality of urban life. Digitization as a whole is seen as the key to achieving the UN's sustainable development goals and the City of Bonn is setting an excellent example. The City of Bonn and Deutsche Telekom will announce additional details soon.

ICT for sustainability and climate protection

Sustainability is a key criterion for Deutsche Telekom's entrepreneurial activities. Birgit Klesper, Senior Vice President Group Corporate Responsibility/Human Resources at Deutsche Telekom: "We are working hard at reducing our own carbon footprint, for example, by ensuring that our ambitious infrastructure upgrades do not cause a corresponding increase in energy consumption. Significantly, IP technology has helped us in this regard, by making our network's data transports both faster and more energy-efficient. That's why we are very proud to have been A-listed by the CDP once again in 2017." Deutsche Telekom is one of just five percent of the several thousand participating companies worldwide to earn a spot on this list. The independent Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) assesses and rates the sustainability commitment of thousands of companies every year. Digitization in particular brings with it significant potential for sustainable CO2 reduction: according to the SMARTer2030 study carried out by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products and services have the potential to save nearly ten times as much in terms of CO2 emissions as the ICT industry itself produces. These opportunities and the associated challenges will be discussed at Deutsche Telekom's Group headquarters on November 14 at the event "The Impact of ICT on climate change – curse or blessing?" The in-house trade fair to accompany the event will demonstrate products and applications provided by Deutsche Telekom and its partners for connected, and therefore sustainable, life and work, such as e-charging infrastructure, Smart City and logistics solutions.

"Climate Heroines" at Group Headquarters

In order to raise awareness among a wide audience of the commitment of others to climate protection, from November 13 to 20, Deutsche Telekom will be the first stop for a new traveling exhibition by CARE Deutschland entitled "Klimaheldinnen" (Climate Heroines). The exhibition provides portraits of 12 strong women in their fight against the consequences of climate change. One of them is Christiana Figueres.

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