Tag: Deutsche Telekom

German tech industry dragged into the 21st century

Hartmann_Maschinenhalle_1868_(01)Germany, whose industry has been relying on things to run the same way as they did before those World Wars, has suddenly woken up in the digital age and is a little worried about it.

According to Reuters big German companies have started teaming up with start-ups to shake up their conservative business culture and keep pace with a world increasingly dominated by nimble tech giants.

Most of the German blue-chips run along 19th century lines with only the youngest — SAP, founded less than 43 years ago.

In other Western countries the top 30 companies on the Nasdaq were set up in the 1980s or later and the fourth-biggest firm, Facebook, was established about a decade ago.

German government officials and company executives fear they could fall far behind if they cannot swiftly identify and adopt innovations in web and smartphone technology that have driven the success of Google, Apple and Amazon.

Metro, Bayer, Evonik, Merck KGaA and Deutsche Telekom are now investing in start-ups – seeking to gain digital expertise, as well as to embrace newcomers whose innovations could represent threats to their own businesses.

They have a long way to go, Investment in German start-ups more than doubled to $1.74 billion last year, this was less than the amount raised by Uber. US-based start-ups drew $49.39 billion.

Fewer than half of Germany’s top 500 companies have a comprehensive digital strategy, according to a study by Accenture.Only 11 percent use social media and only six percent cloud computing, the European Commission’s Digital Economy Index published at the end of February showed.

Healthcare firms Bayer, Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim, Deutsche Telekom and chemicals group Evonik, meanwhile, have all set up multi-million euro in-house venture funds. Deutsche Telekom has pledged to invest $542 million in Germany’s start-up scene over the next five years.

The German government has announced plans to try to promote startups. They include a pre-market web platform to connect young companies with investors.

However most say that there needs to be more venture capital investment in Germany and the scene needs to be more attractive in terms of taxation.

The other problem is that the Germans do not like investing in something which might go tits up.

 

DT boss calls for Google regulation

330ogleThe CEO of Deutsche Telekom has made a very precise call for Google and Facebook to be regulated in the same way that telcos are.

Tim Hoettges said that there was a convergence between over-the-top web companies and classic telcos and there needs to be one regulatory environment to rule them.

Improvements should be made to spectrum policy for the telecommunications industry, and that the loosening of regulation would encourage the type of investment that governments and policy-making bodies are currently seeking from carriers.

Hoettges said that policy-makers should leave telecoms groups adequate operational freedom to develop IoT-related services such as smart meters and intra-communicating cars, commenting: “We favour net neutrality, but we need to be allowed to have quality classes to enable new services in the Internet of Things.”

Being in favour of net neutrality is different from his US rivals who want everyone to pay them twice for a service that the rest of the world gets for half the price.

Interest in the possible government regulation of Google grows in line with the ever expanding services, reach and influence of Mountain View’s empire.

In fact there have been calls for the regulation of Google since 2012 when Dr Robert Epstein laid out some of the most popular arguments for the regulation of Google, partially-based on evidence, fines following controversies such as the extraction of wifi data during the gathering of photographic information for Google Maps, and partially on his view of Google’s real place in the economy as an ungoverned monopoly.

BT finalises EE take over

Kitten-Kong BT has finalised its deal to buy EE from Orange and Deutsche Telekom for £12.5 billion.

According to the International Business Times , the deal, is to be officially completed by the end of the year, will be settled in cash and shares.

While the deal has been rumoured for a while, it is now official.  It looks like once the agreement has been settled, the German Deutsche Telekom will have a 12 percent stake in the company and will be given the right to appoint one board member.

Orange will also get a four percent stake.

BT will raise £1 billion of the deal through issuing new shares and debt financing, with the view of making £360 million of capital expenditure in four years savings as a result of the deal.

BT CEO Gavin Patterson said: “This is a major milestone for BT as it will allow us to accelerate our mobility plans and increase our investment in them. The UK’s leading 4G network will now dovetail with the UK’s biggest fibre network, helping to create the leading converged communications provider in the UK. Consumers and businesses will benefit from new products and services as well as from increased investment and innovation.”

The deal comes after broadband providers have started to offer quad-play packages, providing customers with TV, broadband, landline and mobile services in one bundle.

BT will now join Virgin Media and TalkTalk, who already offer these deals to UK consumers.

CEO of EE, Olaf Swantee added: “Joining BT represents an exciting next stage for our company, customer, and people. In the last few years alone, we have built the UK’s biggest, fastest and best 4G network, significantly advancing the digital communications infrastructure for people and businesses across Britain.”

Following in BT’s footsteps is Sky, who struck a deal with Three Mobile last week to offer similar quad-play deals in 2016.