In its role as a driver of digitalisation and beyond theprovision of connectivity and bandwidth, Telekom AustriaGroup provides entire industries, business models andsocietal as well as personal areas of life with a wide rangeof positive development possibilities.
Innovation plays an important role as a differentiating factor in the highly competitive ICT sec-tor. At the same time, one’s offers to the customers must be characterised by sustainablevalue. Isthat a contradiction? No. At least not when seeing innovation as a contemporary, even pioneer-ing contribution to the development of economical, social and personal potential.
-Overall winner of the futurezonenetwork test 2016 (A1)
-Connect Test 2016: Awarded the bestrating of ‘excellent’ for the eighth timein a row (A1)
-Top Service Austria (A1)
-Winner of theCOMMUNICATIONS.INNOVATION.
FUTURE award (velcom)
-Best voice quality within theCommonwealth of IndependentStates, awarded by DMTEL (velcom)
-Best in Test award in the 2016 P3Communications network test(one.Vip)
FUTURE-PROOF INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE DIGITAL AGE
To make sure new products and services enrich one’s professional and private life, net-works and applications on which they are based must be highly capable, safe and preparedfor future needs. At the same time, services and content offered by traditional ICT providersis competing with so-called OTT (over the top) providers that offer their services withouthaving their own infrastructure (e. g. Netflix, …). Despite this fact, local market knowledgeand customer care will continue to play an important role.
SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT IN FIXED-LINE NETWORKS
& MOBILE COMMUNICATION
Telekom Austria Group sees itself as a driver and pioneer of the digital age. Corresponding-ly, beyond its traditional core business — providing connectivity and bandwidth — it offersknow-how for digital business models and solutions, from conceptualisation to operation.Convergence plays a major role in this context, not least in the light of the dynamic in-crease of data volumes transferred via these networks. For only the intelligent combinationof fixed-line networks and mobile communication allows for ever growing regional cover-age at higher bandwidths. Its corporate footprint shows the priority Telekom Austria Groupgives this fact in the framework of its strategic direction: The Group is operating as a con-vergent provider in six out of seven countries it is active in (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Be-larus, Slovenia, Republic of Macedonia).
This is accompanied by targeted LTE expansion in the mobile communication network aswell as the expansion of the fibre network and copper-based broadband technologies in thefixed-line network such as vectoring, VPlus and G.fast. LTE (4G) accelerates data transfer inthe mobile communication network by a factor of ten when compared to UMTS. Austriansubsidiary A1 is approaching full LTE expansion. In Croatia, Slovenia and the Republic ofSerbia as well as the Republic of Macedonia, the accelerated roll-out of the LTE technologyis also advancing at full steam. Thus, even remote regions will be supplied with higherbandwidths including increased capacity and better stability. PA1
BROADBAND ROLL-OUT IN THE FIXED-LINE NETWORK
In 2016, the Group invested a total of EUR 764.1 mn (CAPEX), focussing particularly onbroadband expansion. When it comes to the fixed-line network, Telekom Austria Groupaims at offering fibre coverage of 70 % at speeds of at least 30 Mbit/s in Austria by the end of2018. This is why it started its accelerated broadband roll-out as early as 2015. By the end of2016, 50 % of Austrian private and business addresses could be provided with at least 30Mbit/s products via the A1 fixed-line network. 70 % coverage is scheduled to be reached bythe end of 2018. 203-1
TURBOCHARGING MOBILE DATA
When it comes to the mobile communication network, Telekom Austria Group employsLTE carrier aggregation to provide faster mobile Internet in metropolitan areas across Aus-tria, Bulgaria, Croatia and the Republic of Serbia. This allows for data transfer rates of up to300 Mbit/s. Combined with a modulation method new to the mobile communication mar-ket as well as three frequency ranges, the possible transfer rate in the live network of Austri-an subsidiary A1 increased to more than 500 Mbit/s in 2016. This method bundles frequen-cies in the area of 2.6 GHz, 1,800 MHz as well as 800 MHz and combines them with the com-plex modulation method 256 QAM. This yields significantly higher bandwidths than today’sLTE standard. PA4
A field trial in the A1 live network transferred 513 Mbit/s onto a mobile router and 463Mbit/s onto a smart phone — a considerable step towards the fifth mobile communicationgeneration (5G). The latter is technically based on 4G. 5G is expected to arrive in 2019, evenif the generally applicable technical specifications are still to be defined. Its implementa-tion could then start in 2020. 102-2
NETWORK RELIABILITY AND SAFETY
Telekom Austria Group is one of the largest backbone network operators in the world. It op-erates 200 nodes in 47 countries and is regarded as a particularly trustworthy partner whenit comes to the reliability of its networks. Among others, the certification of Austrian sub-sidiary A1’s leased lines (including alarm transmission) in accordance with ISO 9001 — con-firming particularly high quality management standards — prove that. The fact that it regu-larly achieves top results in tests and rankings of its network quality (see Awards) confirmsTelekom Austria Group’s pioneering role regarding infrastructure. PA3
Not least, this quality and reliability is crucial in emergency situations, in which TelekomAustria Group deploys specially trained emergency response teams, while subsidiaries helpeach other out too. They furthermore cooperate closely with the fire brigades, paramedicsand the Red Cross. Of course, calling official emergency phone numbers is free in all of theGroup’s countries. PA6
Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are a recurring topic when talking about mobile communica-tion. Speculation on this topic abound despite the fact that the results of international re-search efforts such as the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified HealthRisks (SCENIHR), commissioned by the EU Commission, find no causal connection be-tween mobile communication and health risks. One thing is ensured: Telekom AustriaGroup meets or achieves values significantly lower than the limit value recommendationsdefined by the ICNIRP/WHO for base stations and mobile end-user devices in daily use. Fur-thermore, the different national laws and regulations in Telekom Austria Group’s countriesof operation are strictly adhered to. A Group-wide EMF policy ensures that. If and whenneeded, designated EMF teams inform the population on location. Beyond that, regularmeasurements are taken during network construction and expansion while cooperatingwith local authorities and decision-makers. IO6
A1 DIGITAL INTERNATIONAL GMBH AND START-UP
The establishment of A1 digital international GmbH highlights Telekom Austria Group’sself-conception as a driver of digitalisation. The new subsidiary predominantly operates inthe B2B area. This encompasses comprehensive services to accompany and support compa-nies in the digitalisation process. A1 digital thereby focusses on two core fields: The Inter-net of Things (IoT) and cloud-based ICT solutions. International M2M (machine to ma-chine) solutions are also part of the portfolio: From fleet management to smart meteringservices, meter data management and roll-out services all the way to modular solutions forindustrial automation and remote maintenance, smart M2M technologies form the back-bone of the IoT.
Promoting innovation, even beyond its own sphere, Austrian subsidiary A1 has been sup-porting start-ups in the framework of its A1 Start Up Campus initiative since 2011. At the A1Start Up Campus, start-ups have been receiving support and know-how from A1 experts inthe form of offices, media presence, events and ICT infrastructure since 2015. Some 10 start-ups have already made use of these offers TA1,2
Digitalisation enters more and more aspects of life. Telekom Austria Group meets the asso-ciated demand with telecommunications solutions that — besides business applications —increasingly focus on solutions for entire households, too. It thus, for instance, covers allits customers’ needs with convergent product bundles containing, for example, TV and mu-sic streaming services or cloud solutions. New products such as the A1 Hybrid Modem arethe result of a clear focus on customer needs (see Thinking globally, leading regionally). Inorder to identify these needs and to find out how the Group’s products and services are re-ceived on the market, Telekom Austria Group utilises many information channels: Shopsand service lines, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, customer apps andGoogle+ as well as designated support communities.
DIGITALISATION & NETWORK
Telekom Austria Group aims at becomingthe first contact point and central partnerin the digital transformation of compa-nies and to tap into new potentials in thefield of digital services such as cloud andICT solutions. Yet, digital telecommunica-tions solutions also concern more andmore realms of life in the private cus-tomer sector. In this context, the focus ison solutions for entire households andconvergent product bundles containing,for instance, TV and music streaming ser-vices as well as cloud solutions. Apartfrom the visualisation of network in-frastructure, services are also mapped ina virtual, cloud-based infrastructure. Thisallows for significantly improved operat-ing processes at lower costs as well as anaccelerated market launch of new ser-vices, thus offering an ideal platform forcompetitive innovation.
TELEKOM AUSTRIA GROUP’sCOOPERATIONS
-Research Centre forTelecommunications Vienna
-Vienna University of Technology
-Christian Doppler Laboratory
for Wireless Technologies forSustainable Mobility
-Josef Ressel Center for
user-friendly and secure mobileenvironments
-PA10: Cost-control and contractoverview tools are offered by allsubsidiaries.
-IO6:Only devices, which comply withthe relevant normes (EN 50360, EN50566) are considered in the productportfolio of Telekom Austria Group.
USEFUL INFORMATIONFOR GRI EXPERTS
MOBILE COMMUNICATION CUSTOMERS& RGUs (IN THOU.)
-Number of mobile communication customers
-Number revenue generating units (RGU’s) in fixed-line
THE ROADMAP — NETWORK & CUSTOMERS
-Demand-oriented expansionof the network infrastructureusing innovative broadbandtechnologies
-Investments (CAPEX) ofEUR 764.1 mn in broad-band expansion, includingacquiring additionalfrequencies
-Pushing demand-orientedinfrastructure expansionas well as increased use ofnew technologies
LTE coverage of
80 % in TelekomAustria Group
Fibre coverage inAustria exceeding
70 % with at least
-Further expansion of theinitiative A1 Start UpCampus
-Evaluation of theexpansion of the start upinitiative to subsidiaries
-Establishing innovationofficers in the subsidiaries tofurther the promotion ofinnovation and start-ups
-Staging an ‘Innovation JAMSession’ to further developthe e-health business fieldat Austrian subsidiary A1
-Rolling out services offered bystart-ups promoted in Austriaon other markets in thefootprint of the TelekomAustria Group
-Starting the ‘Intrapreneurship’programme to offeremployees the possibility toimplement innovative ideas asstart-ups
Identification andpromotion of market-able innovations, forexample via start-upinitiatives
1) Baseline for targets is 2015.
THINKING GLOBALLY, LEADING REGIONALLY
In early 2017, Belarusian subsidiary velcom imple-mented the world’s first entirely virtual commer-cial core network in the framework of its ‘virtualone core’ lighthouse project. velcom thus owns oneof the most innovative virtual telecommunicationscore architectures based on OpenStack — anopen-source software — and serial standardhardware. This allowed velcom to reduce its oper-ating costs by more than 50 %. Voice telephony andInternet customers benefit from this technologythrough more flexibility and new functionalities.
Large-scale smart meter roll-out in Graz (Styria): In a matter of four years, 187,000 metersare converted to smart meters for Stromnetz Graz GmbH & Co. KG. Apart from replacing themeters, Austrian subsidiary A1 also organises the entire technician deployment planning,parts of the material logistics and the customer project management. The project took off inNovember 2016 while the roll-out itself will take place in 2018.
Since 2016, Austrian subsidiary A1 has been pro-moting the start-up AdScanner in the frameworkof its A1 Start Up Campus initiative. AdScannertracks TV campaign signals on all channels in realtime and can thus immediately report when andwhere commercials have been placed. This data issubsequently combined with that provided by theA1 TV customer panel — consisting of 4,000 par-ticipating TV households — which allows the pro-gramme to provide precisely calculated contactopportunities for the respective placement. Thesecond important function of AdScanner lies inmonitoring the competition: One can preciselyfollow when and on which channels competitorsplace commercials.
Since July 2016, Austrian subsidiary A1 has been offering its customers a hybrid modem thatcombines mobile communication and fixed-line infrastructure, thus being able to offer fixed-line products at higher bandwidths. The modem’s smart technology allows for the combina-tion of both technologies’ bandwidths. As and when needed, the A1 Hybrid Modem supple-ments the DSL fixed-line broadband connection with 4G/LTE, thus providing speeds of up to100 Mbit/s. This allows households to surf the Internet with higher bandwidths.