Deutsche Tel sees opportunity in disruption

Telcos can strike back against industry disrupters including Apple and Google with a range of free, web-based, cross-platform services, Deutsche Telekom board member Niek Jan van Damme says.
The proliferation of web-capable devices is creating an opportunity for operators to offer back up services for the wide range of content now being generated, either directly by consumers or downloaded from app stores.
“Customers use numerous apps and services from different providers. The many different platforms generate the need to archive...content in multiple locations. We offer cross platform help our customers become more independent of the big platforms," van Damme told journalists on the opening day of the IFA event in Germany.
Free platforms should be available on the web and embedded in devices to help consumers achieve that independence, he argues.
While he talked up the potential to disrupt the disruptors, van Damme also kept an eye on operator’s key strength – the network. Customers in rural Germany should now be enjoying maximum broadband speeds of 7.2Mbps in the downlink and 1.4Mbps up, and the firm is extending mobile coverage with a network combining LTE and HSPA technologies.
The network is backed by two new tariffs – one allowing customers to bundle free calls to other German mobile networks with current flat rates on SMS, Web browsing and calls to domestic T-Mobile customers; the other an offer of two months free e-mail access for pre-pay smartphone subscribers.
From December, mobile customers will be able to access 4G services on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE, which the operator unveiled at the event. Also announced on the opening day was an extension of Deutsche Telekom’s phone, Web and TV bundle on to satellite, increasing coverage to 75% of German households, by offering the package via satellite, and even a Web-capable DECT phone.
All of the products and services announced help further van Damme’s goal of simplifying the market for consumers. "We have developed products and services featuring intelligent access options, intuitive operation and ease of use," he states.