By providing the technological basis and educational offers for equal, digital access to information, education and knowledge, Telekom Austria Group not only serves as a responsible member of our society, but also as an element bridging gaps.

Tablets instead of books. In schools, not at the beach. Certain pedagogues and politicians involved in educational policies think that school children will soon be free from the burden of carrying cumbersome text books around. Schools are supposed to support so- called digital natives, meaning children who were born into the digital era, using methods to which they can relate. In our day and age, this means mostly smart phones and tablets. Studies have been highlighting the possibilities of networked learning by means of such electronic devices for years.

TOTAL 2011-2016:


2015: 24,481


2014: 21,1741)

TOTAL 2011-2013:


2016: 25,499

TOTAL 2011-2015:

TOTAL 2011-2014:


Austria: 23,549, Bulgaria: 1,625,

Croatia: 75, Slovenia: 150,

Republic of Serbia: 100


2013: 24,483

from 2011 to 2016




2012: 24,292

ZIEL 2012–2016:

100,000 participants in media

literacy trainings


TOTAL 2011-2012:



This example illustrates to what an extent digitalisation already permeates our society. While past generations used to perceive books as the most normal element of education and everything digital as mere ‘modern influence’, digital life is a normality for younger members of society. Education and training institutions — and not only those serving younger generations — will have adjust to this fact. For the thought that learning ends with school graduation is obsolete as well. Life-long learning is, in fact, a prerequisite for people to keep up with the pace of our highly advanced society.


If only — after discovering the moons of Jupiter — Galileo Galilei had been able to contact the international community of scientists via digital media, the entire history of science would have taken a different direction. Today, using a tablet or smart phone, every child on the planet can catch up on scientific discoveries in minutes, more knowledge, in fact, than even the best scientists would have had at their disposal twenty years ago. Rapid develop- ments in cosmology, genetics, biotechnology and quantum mechanics are the result of digi- talisation. Telecommunications companies such as Telekom Austria Group thus provide the foundation for scientific achievements as well as social and economical development options in the 21st century.

Factual knowledge in almost all fields has risen to a status that virtually dwarves the great- est achievements of past epochs. While archaeologists in the 1990s used to look for sunken civilisations for years (and sometimes in vain), today, their discovery sometimes takes mere weeks. Thanks to young scientists like Sarah Parcak, who knows how to make the best of satellite technology and digitalisation, archaeologists have recently made discoveries that would have exceeded the wildest dreams of scientists only a few decades ago.

Studies such as Strategy&’s Global Information Technology Report 2016 forecast that in- creased digitalisation results in a larger gross domestic product, lower unemployment rates and more innovation activity. This means that digitalisation is more than a ‘nice to have’ but actually concerns the very heart of a society. In fact, society is already being kept alive by a ‘digital pacemaker’.


Companies such as Telekom Austria Group serves as a driver of digitalisation. It provides connectivity and bandwidths that allow for the creation of future scientific, societal, eco- nomical and educational models. In its role as a pioneer of digitalisation and know-how carrier, however, Telekom Austria Group wants to be more than an infrastructure provider. It sees itself as the ideal partner accompanying economy and society toward the path of digital transformation. To this end, it has adapted its corporate culture which it practices daily (see Employees). Its corporate culture is also based on the Group’s guiding principle of ‘Empowering Digital Life’.

To achieve this goal, Telekom Austria Group not only relies on the provision of technologi- cal access to digital sources of knowledge, information and education. Apart from increas- ing its activities in mobile and fixed-line broadband extension, it also uses social initiatives aimed at bridging the ‘Digital Gap’. In other words, it attempts to build ‘societal bridges’. To this end, it supports the development of the skill set and abilities needed to explore individ- ual potential associated to digitalisation. As early as 2011, it founded the A1 Internet for All media literacy initiative in Austria and rolled out comparable projects and initiatives in most countries the Group is active in.


13 different workshops taking place in Austria were developed to help children acquire digi- tal skills as early as when starting primary school. The content of the workshops is also be- ing provided as school materials. At the Vienna location, the children’s training programme was extended by a so-called Digital Study Room (see Thinking globally, leading regionally). During designated information evenings, the parents are given information on their chil- dren’s Internet usage habits and how to protect them from possible dangers associated with them.

Furthermore, the A1 Internet for All initiative offers more than 30 different trainings for se- niors, reaching from first steps to editing photos. By means of an access programme tai- lored to this age group, the company aims at lowering their Internet entry threshold and kindling their curiosity. Expert knowledge of media literacy topics and a training concept based on that build the foundation to gently accompany seniors on their way to a digital life. Courses building upon each other as well as practical exercises and examples from every day digital life, tips on how to correctly work with digital media and more introduce the seniors to the Internet. Additionally, they train how to use laptop computers, tablets and smart phones, and resolve individual issues in open question & answer sessions. As- pects of security are an essential part of all courses. A recommendation rate of 99 % proves the A1 Internet for All initiative’s quality and relevance for the target groups at which it is aimed. Several subsidiaries to Telekom Austria Group also offer information brochures for seniors, children and families. The Slovenian subsidiary, for instance, has been offering a smart phone brochure tailored to seniors since 2016 (see Thinking globally, leading regionally). PA2

Austrian subsidiary A1 offers trainings aimed at consolidating digital competences at three permanent locations in three provincial capitals as well as monthly tours to regions in the countryside. The programme enjoys the support of 30 partners from social and educational fields. With 124,512 in 2016, the Group well exceeded its Group-wide goal of 100,000 media literacy training participants which it had set itself in 2012 (see graphic ‘Participations in media literacy trainings’). Thus, according to a scientific evaluation carried out by the NPO Institute at the Economic University of Vienna in 2016, the Austrian subsidiary A1 signifi- cantly contributed to closing the Digital Gap in Austria.


Above all, digitalisation can make everyday life easier for socially disadvantaged or physi- cally impaired people. For instance, new information technology is able to integrate blind or seriously visually impaired people into general educational activities in such a way that they no longer need to learn Braille. Vipnet, Telekom Austria Group’s Croatian subsidiary, also offers visually impaired people mobile phones with larger displays and simplified menu navigation.

Health naturally plays a big role in a society whose members are getting older and older. In many areas of the healthcare system, e-health solutions offer new possibilities. In Austria, for instance, A1‘s Medical Data Network already links physicians, hospitals, laboratories and other health care institutions. The multi-media hospital bed, also referred to as ‘E-Care Terminal’ makes lying in a hospital bed a more varied experience while adding several services to everyday hospital operations and supporting care personnel.

Even simple applications such as one.Vip’s make life easier: Their app reminds users of doctor’s appointments by sending them text messages. Slovenian subsidiary A1 Slovenija’s helps diabetics with monitoring their blood sugar level with the app Vem, kaj jem! (‘I know what I eat!’). E-government solutions help Slovenian subsidiary A1 Slovenija facilitate com- munication between citizens and authorities. Text and chat messages represent valuable means of communication for deaf people. Telekom Austria Group’s subsidiary in Belarus offers special rates to persons with impaired hearing, while the Slovenian one helps blind and deaf people with special rates that include large data allowances (unlimited text messages and voice telephony).

Using these and many other measures and initiatives, Telekom Austria Group actively assumes its social responsibility by building societal bridges (and not just digital ones) to lead the way to equal opportunities in the time of digitalisation.

203-2, PA2

1) Number of Austrian participants in 2014 corrected thanks to higher data quality.


Digitalisation also offers significant advan- tages for the society as a whole. Digital media, for example, gives all people equali- ty of opportunities in terms of personal and societal development. This is why Telekom Austria Group supports compe- tent and safe media use in a targeted manner. Providing infrastructure and the foundations for economic development in rural areas is one important part of this effort, for network expansion also means bridging the digital gap between urbanised and rural regions as well as between soci- etal situations — for instance with a view to educational and development possibili- ties. This is paramount for a society’s social and economic development.



-Specialisterne –Integration of persons suffering from a condition in the autism spectrum into the labour market (A1)

-Cooperation with Listen Up — a platform supporting deaf people and people with hearing impairments (Mobiltel)

-Do The Right Thing — Project aimed at promoting internal  volunteer work by employees (Vipnet)

-Children.Autism.Parents — Develop- ment and provision of the free DAR Communicator application for persons suffering from autism (velcom)

-Cooperation with SAFE.SI — Trainings for children on the safe  use of mobile phones and data transfer

(A1 Slovenija2))

-Cooperation with Blue Shell support for single parents and families with disable children (Vip mobile)

-SOS Children’s Village — Free fixed- line phones; Business customers are invited to donate (one.Vip)


-Vienna University Children’s Office (A1)

-Saferinternet (A1, Mobiltel)

-SAFE.SI (A1 Slovenija)

-Belgrade Seniors’ Association

(Vip mobile)









Source: ITU











-Good Practice – Austrian Social Ministry’s Good Practice award for A1 Internet for All (A1)

-Rescuers of Childhood award (Mobiltel)

-Best Private Education Initiative award for project Read Belarusian with velcom (velcom)

-TA5: Open source technologies are promoted in the framework of the Internet for All initiative.


2) The renaming of Si.mobil d.d. in A1 Slovenija, d.d. in the course of the rebranding became effective in April 2017.





SAID 2015

DONE 2016



-More than 20,000 participations in media literacy  trainings

-Implementation of the new media literacy workshop programme in Belarus2)

-25,499 participants in media competence trainings

-Nine information evenings for parents with 206 participants in  the framework of the A1 Internet for All initiative

-Publication of a free brochure on the safe use of mobile phones in Slovenia

-Workshop programme aimed at promoting media literacy launched in Belarus

-Training course offers aimed at promoting digital competence at schools and for seniors extended


150,000 participations in media literacy trainings


100,000 participants in media literacy trainings

-Continuation of social initiatives based on local needs

-Social initiatives such as

Do the Right Thing continued in Croatia, cooperation with SAFE.SI on the safe use of mobile phones in Slovenia, partnership with SOS Children’s Village in Republic of Macedonia etc.

-Continuation of social initiatives tailored to

local needs


Promotion of social projects according to local needs

1) Baseline for target is 2015. 2) A comprehensive evaluation on the implementation of a media literacy initiative was conducted in 2016 at the subsidiary in Belarus. Due to local framework conditions, the workshop programme’s roll-out is scheduled for 2017.

3) Baseline for target is 2011.


In the framework of the Internet for All initiative, Slovenian subsidiary A1 Slovenija — in cooperation with the University of Maribor — designed and produced a brochure titled Varna uporaba mobilnih telefonov (‘On the safe use of mobile phones’). The brochure is aimed at seniors and is supposed to instruct them on the safe use of mobile phones, besides introducing them to basic functions suchas PIN, PUK, button lock and more.

By means of the A1 Internet for All Campus, the Austrian subsidiary has been offering tutoring for children and adolescents since 2016. The digital study room gives them the chance to research presentation topics or do homework online. Media pedagogues support the children and adolescents in using digital media for school assignments. Additionally, it offers coding workshops for 7- to 13-year-olds, where they are introduced into the world of programming. In small groups, the bring Lego figures to life and solve tasks using robots.

In the autumn of 2016, the Belarusian subsidiary velcom presented a new project titled MOVABOX. Its aim is to preserve and promote the culture, language and literature of Belarus. Contemporary Belarusian authors and their works are intro- duced to a wider audience. MOVABOX combines offline and online elements. Offline activities in- clude meetings with authors writing children's literature, where books are exchanged and read together. When it comes to online activities, MOVABOX offers a literature quiz. Winners receive a MOVABOX, full of Belarusian literature.

The Croatian subsidiary Vipnet introduced a crowdfunding platform for social projects in 2016. The social network brings private individuals and organisations together. Everyone can register on the website and subsequently create a charity campaign for a certain or- ganisation or topic. Through sharing the project on other social networks, friends, acquain- tances and family members are encouraged to donate money to the respective cause. The current total amount donated is displayed in real-time on the website. Donations are transferred directly to the charity organisations with no fees being charged.