Ricke: now making tomorrow happen - Initial investments of up to EUR 3 billion - Next-generation UMTS networks - Convergence products by T-Com and T-Mobile - Calling plan initiative launched -TV comes to cell phones - T-Online 6.0 with customizable information center - New mobile devices - Media receiver for home entertainment - Multi-purpose fixed-network line
Deutsche Telekom announced a plethora of new technologies, products and services on Thursday in the run-up to the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin. During the next few years, the Group is planning to invest around EUR 3 bn in the rollout of a high-tech optical fiber network with speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s in Germany. This step and the merger of T-Online with Deutsche Telekom are part of the Group's effort to create the basis for providing its customers with high-level triple play services, which means rapid Internet access, top-quality communications services and individually accessible entertainment offerings. At the same time, the speed of broadband access is set to be increased significantly via the UMTS mobile network. The consumer market-oriented subsidiaries T-Com , T-Mobile and T-Online will be showcasing innovative devices like a dual phone at the IFA, along with new rate options and services.
"We are presenting ourselves here at the IFA as Deutsche Telekom, a company with its own aim, its own market strategy, and its own development logic. We are perceived as an intelligent integrated telecommunications Group and our philosophy is clear: first the customer, then the technology," said Kai-Uwe Ricke, Chairman of Deutsche Telekom AG. "At the same time, we are also convinced that there is not 'just one' customer, either in the consumer or the business customer segment. We must target a range of different customer groups and interests with a variety of products. This is what we will be demonstrating here at the IFA with our innovation drive. We are now making tomorrow happen."
High-speed broadband network with speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s Walter Raizner, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Broadband/Fixed Network at Deutsche Telekom, spoke of "joining the top group of broadband states," referring to plans to construct a high-speed network. T-Com intends to provide Germany's 50 largest cities with high-speed broadband lines by 2007. Speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s mean that Ger-many will join the ranks of the top broadband states. By mid-2006, the first cities will be connected to the new optical fiber network. This will enable 2.9 million households to use state-of-the-art technology within their own four walls. Up to EUR 3 billion are to be invested initially in the coming years in Germany to meet the conditions for developing completely new services and applications. Of course, these and other investments must also be viewed against the backdrop of market success and the general situation on a new market.
"Our vision is to give the customer access via one single line - i.e. our broadband connection - to the wealth of the multimedia world, using a range of devices: at present telephones, televisions, PCs, video telephones and multimedia boxes. The benefits of this for our customers are obvious. They will have easy access to superfast Internet, video, games offers, high-quality general entertainment and interactive learning," said Raizner.
Participants in the pilot trials in Stuttgart und Hamburg can already test high speeds of up to 25 Mbit/s for six weeks free of charge. The only conditions: answering a few questions at the end of the trial - and being quick. Only a few hundred participants can take part. Starting today, anyone interested in participating in the trials can register at www.t-com.de.
Highspeed UMTS to be launched in 2006
Broadband access is also getting even faster for UMTS mobile communica-tions. According to René Obermann, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Mobile Communications at Deutsche Telekom, commercial use of what is known as high-speed UMTS based on HSDPA will be launched in time for CeBIT 2006. "High-speed UMTS will then be available wherever T-Mobile already offers UMTS coverage. HSDPA enables us to offer a high-speed mobile experience outside our WLAN network, which offers access to 16,500 hotspots worldwide."
Speeds will initially be increased to up to 1.8 Mbit/s. This is particularly practical for using Internet applications on devices in the fast-growing pocket computer segment and for laptop applications. Transmission speeds will gradually even be increased to up to 7.2 Mbit/s. HSDPA also enables complex intranet applications or Internet pages to be accessed quickly and sig-nificantly reduces the time spent waiting for pages to load. T-Mobile will in-cidentally be the first operator to put HSDPA-enabled laptop cards onto the market in the fall.
Integrated mobile/fixed-network products From a customer perspective, fixed-mobile convergence is a significant and interesting trend. It avoids, for example, having duplicate contracts, bills, answerphones and address books. T-Mobile and T-Com have a variety of solutions and the right offer for every customer - whether they prefer mobile or fixed-network communications.
T-Mobile is developing a new product called mobile@home for the growing number of customers that also want to use their cell phone to communicate conveniently and at fixed-network rates from the comfort of their own four walls. With this offer, customers can also be called on their cell phone at home at inexpensive fixed-network rates and of course make cheap calls from their cell phone at home to the German fixed network. In addition, voicemail calls made at home are free.
The area referred to as "their own four walls" is also generously defined: a radius up to 2 kilometers. The offer will be launched commercially in the first quarter of 2006.
A highly attractive data rate will also be on offer with the new product. Wireless Internet access will be possible via a UMTS WLAN router. T-Mobile will incidentally be one of the first German mobile operators to launch an Internet box of this kind on the market. It will be available to business customers from October and to consumers from the first quarter of 2006.
"The" fixed-network convergence offer is a dual phone. This device is completely new on the market and is of interest to all those that want to continue reaping the benefits of a landline, but would like more mobility at the same time - without changing devices. The possible uses of the fixed network are increased considerably, and it is made mobile - all with a single phone number, a singe bill and a single point of contact.
The new device offered by T-Com combines the advantages of the fixed network with those of mobile communications - more comfort and better quality at low prices. At home, customers make calls through the fixed network, and at a Hotspot, say in an airport or station, they access the Internet via W-LAN - this means better voice quality. And on the go, customers make calls using the tried-and-true GSM technology.
The dual phone enables customers to continue using their DSL/W-LAN hardware, as well as a plethora of value-added services. For example, the synchronization feature with the Outlook address book, video telephony or access - even on the go - to centrally stored MP3 files on their PC. The device is to be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2006.
T-Box - a fixed-network and mobile answerphone Another convergent product is the enhanced version of the T-Box. From October 1, 2005, T-Com will be offering customers the option of answering calls not only for their own landline number, but also for mobile numbers, irrespective of the mobile provider. Regardless of whether the call is made to the landline or mobile line, it will be forwarded to the same voicemail - the T-Box. This means that T-Net customers only need to listen to their mes-sage on one answerphone - and even that is free.
Another future-oriented T-Com product is the SIP phone, which combines voice and video communication in one device. In addition to conventional telephone calls and conferences, it is also possible to look the person you are calling in the eyes at high-definition quality and receive video messages. Emails, faxes, SMS and MMS messages are downloaded with the SIP phone and stored by a central "answering machine." It also offers fast access to numerous information and entertainment services: the latest head-lines, traffic information, emergency service information, and shopping and activity tips. Games are also available. The offer is based on "SIP" (Session Initiation Protocol) technology, which exchanges voice information or data via the IP network. SIP provides the basis for all kinds of value-added communications services, so even T-Com customers that do not have an affinity for computers will be able to access personalized communications services.
TV via cell phone Mobile broadband networks also offer mobile customers an increasing range of options. Following the rollout of web'n'walk, the free Internet service for use on the go, T-Mobile has now added mobile TV to the offer for UMTS-based cell phones.
Two additional sport or cinema programs are available as well as n-tv live around the clock. The number of programs is set to exceed 10 in the future. Reception via UMTS using the streaming process is free during the introductory phase which runs until the end of March 2006, and no charges will be levied for the data transferred for TV reception. All UMTS devices offered by T-Mobile during the Christmas period this year will feature mobile TV streaming.
T-Mobile is also working on business models to reach wider customer groups with digital radio technologies such as DVB-H and DMB. There will be live demonstrations of these services on the trade fair stand. T-Mobile will be offering its customers an innovative TV offer for their cell phones in time for the 2006 World Cup.
Although it has only been on the market for a few weeks, web'n'walk is already a success, especially with the younger generation. With this service, T-Mobile is systematically implementing its strategy of focusing its activities on the customer experience even in developing mobile data services. "We do not lock our customers up in the cramped world of closed cell-phone portals, we give them the diversity offered by the free Internet," said Obermann. For web'n'walk, T-Mobile has put together packages made up of innovative mobile devices, fast data connections and inexpensive data transmission rates.
Several new models have already been showcased at the IFA: the succes-sor to the MDA III, the new version of the MDA Compact, the Nokia N70 and the new model of the SDA, which is exclusive to T-Mobile . The SDA web'n'walk model is a device for all customers wanting to use the free Inter-net with a particularly compact cell phone. The offer is already set to include ten devices for mobile Internet access by the Christmas sales period.
The MDA Pro, a mini notebook with rapid mobile Internet connection and top-notch features will also be launched at the IFA. The device supports UMTS, W-LAN and GPRS, thus ensuring the ideal conditions for mobile broadband applications.
Fixed-network flat rate and double minute-based packages There is also news on the price front: T-Com will be introducing an flat rate plan in the fall (starting October 6). The T-Net with voice telephony flat rate plan is likely to be just under EUR 40, and the flat rate for an ISDN connection with voice is expected to be around EUR 48. In addition, the minute-based package included in the successful Call Time rate option in connection with T-ISDN will be doubled effective September 1, 2005.
Savings can also be made with Switch&Profit. With this newly introduced bonus program, T-Com customers have the option of automatically diverting incoming calls from Germany from their mobile phone to their T-Com fixed line for free. In this way, they can make calls with fixed-network quality and reduce their telephone costs at the same time: for each call minute that Switch&Profit customers divert, 2.59 cents will be credited to their telephone bill, which is the equivalent of up to 1.5 free minutes.
Music&Fun With its "Music & Fun" offers, T-Com is the first telecommunications provider in Europe to transpose a success story in the mobile communications segment to the fixed network: fixed-network lines will be audibly more versatile and communication more entertaining and individual from the fall. The offer includes the T-NetBox professional announcement service and ring tones, and sound logos, greeting messages (MusikGruß), background sounds and jingle fun will be added in the future. There are also cult ring tones available for the telephone at home. You can order hits, anthems or film soundtracks easily via www.t-com.de/music&fun. Sound logos will soon replace ring tones. With the MusikGruß service, the greeting message will have a musi-cal feel to it in the future.
In addition to the free Internet services web'n'walk and Mobile TV, music is another market segment offering great potential for T-Mobile . The partnership with Robbie Williams plays an important role here. T-Mobile gives fans the opportunity to download and listen to exclusive content before it is released and to place images of their favorite star on their cell phones. The initial services, such as ring tones, sound logos and single clips are already available at IFA. The Sony Ericsson Walkman W800i provides optimal support for this Robbie Williams content.
T-Mobile will thus be cooperating with the market leader "musicload" from T-Online in the future. This enables entire pieces of music to be downloaded with high sound quality to cell phones like the Nokia 6680, the MDA com-pact and the SDA II. Over 300,000 full titles are currently available in the "online record shop." The mobile public Internet also gives music fans the opportunity to access other offers. At Christmas, additional offers will be available on the popular iTunes platform.
Family Whiteboard soon to be piloted The Family Whiteboard is one of the first products from the T-Com House to be introduced on the market. This interactive electronic bulletin board simplifies everyday household organization. Each user has their own personal mailbox, where messages can be left - by email, SMS, MMS or phone call. Anyone leaving the house can call up a variety of information about, for example, current bus and train departures, the weather or the latest stock exchange prices. A pilot test will be under way from the end of 2005 for 200 families and households.
New T-Online features
T-Online 6.0 access software The new T-Online 6.0 access software will allow even better utilization of the possibilities of broadband technology. It is available immediately online and in T-Punkt stores for free and can also be ordered. The installation process, which is certified by the TÜV (German Technical Inspection Agency), is completed in four steps. Now included are broadband applications that will have particular appeal to DSL customers such as T-Online Internet Telefon 6.0, T-Online DSL Manager 6.0 and the T-Online Info Cockpit 6.0.
Cockpit 6.0 With Info-Cockpit 6.0, T-Online is providing the largest broadband com-munity in Germany with their first "sidebar" - a window that provides individualized information through variable mini-programs. This customizable T-Online Info-Cockpit 6.0 information center gathers the content, services and applications that the individual surfer uses most in one window.
Gamesload The PC games market is a rapidly developing growth sector. T-Online is one of the first major providers to launch Gamesload, a digital online shop for full-version PC games, enabling users to download numerous latest games and try them out for a limited period before they buy. This gives players the chance to test the software on their own PC before purchasing.
Media Receiver T-Online S 100 T-Online is presenting a significant move toward multimedia communication and entertainment from a single source with the "T-Online S 100," its own media receiver that enables home entertainment via DSL Internet access. The device, known as an IP streaming set-top box, is included in the T-Online Vision package together with a splitter for connection to both the DSL network and the Speedport W 500V - a combination of DSL modem, router and DSL phone adapter. The T-Online Vision package will be available for purchase in specialist stores as a starter deal for EUR 49.95 starting in November.
Deutsche Telekom will be showcasing its broad range of innovative services at the Internationale Funkausstellung in Berlin from September 2-5. Under the motto "Winning Together," Deutsche Telekom's four business units will be demonstrating their innovative strength and solution competence, based entirely around the 2006 World Cup.