- WiFi is an important part of the 4G user experience
- More WiFi coverage via own hotspots
- Cooperation planned with France Telecom-Orange for improving WiFi user experience while roaming
- New apps simplify use from Android phones and iPhone
- Enhanced through FlyNet wireless network on Lufthansa long-haul flights
- WiFi planned for more InterCity Express trains
Promising an even faster and more user-friendly fourth-generation mobile Internet experience for its customers, Deutsche Telekom is considerably expanding its offering of WiFi public access points for wireless Internet. Through the establishment of its own new hotspots, the number of public access points will increase significantly. Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom-Orange are jointly exploring solutions for improving their customers` WiFi experience and roaming conditions on each others WiFi network.
Deutsche Telekom relies on three key technologies for mobile Internet: Existing UMTS capacities are being expanded and their speed increased, while Ultra-fast LTE and WiFi access complete the set. Finally, new apps for the major smartphone platforms make using the hotspots vastly easier.
"We are implementing a fourth-generation mobile Internet experience for our customers that delivers high speed, simplicity and outstanding service," says Olivier Baujard, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Deutsche Telekom. "On top of that, we want to significantly expand the number of available hotspots in the near future. We are developing high performance apps. And we are offering transparent rates - for example with WiFi usage already included."
At present, Deutsche Telekom enables together with partners the usage of around 44,000 hotspots worldwide. There are also access points in Germany on public transportation by Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Lufthansa.
Free apps are already available for various smartphones to make using these services even more convenient. Hotspot Finder for iPhones displays hotspots in the vicinity with approximately 160,000 downloads from December to date. In the near future the app will also be available in Austria and The Netherlands. An application for Android smartphones enables automatic log in. Released in December, the tool also seamlessly switches between 3G and WiFi when a hotspot comes into or goes out of range. A hotspot finder feature will be added to this app in March, when it will also become available in Austria and The Netherlands.
Deutsche Telekom's WiFi hotspots are mainly found in places that are frequently used by business travelers: hotels, conference facilities, motorway services and quick service restaurants. In December, coverage was expanded to include 36 Lufthansa lounges and FlyNet hotspots on Lufthansa flights to and from the U.S. Wireless Internet access is already available to Deutsche Bahn customers onboard 69 InterCity Express (ICE) trains along 1,500 km of track.
In the medium term, Internet access via different technologies (HSPA, LTE, and WiFi) will also be simplified for notebook users. Deutsche Telekom is currently involved in the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) with an initiative - the Open Connection Manager API - aiming at specifying a common enabler for the development of a single application to manage these wireless standards in one device and to offer best and consistent user experience across all sorts of devices in the future. A pilot project is planned for 2011 and could be followed by the commercial rollout in conjunction with USB adapter manufacturers as early as next year.
About Deutsche Telekom AG Deutsche Telekom is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies, with over 129 million mobile customers, around 37 million fixed-network lines and approximately 16 million broadband lines (as of September 30, 2010). The Group provides fixed network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers and ICT solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in around 50 countries and has over 250,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenue of EUR 64.6 billion in the 2009 financial year - over half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2009).