Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Deutsche Telekom Plans 50Mbps BB, 3G HSDPA, SIP Phones and Fixed Mobile Convergence

In conjunction with this week's Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) in Berlin, Deutsche Telekom outlined its plans for high-speed broadband, wireless and converged network services.

Fixed Network: Deutsche Telekom plans to invest up to three billion EURs in its German broadband fixed network over the next few years to boost its Triple Play offering. The company expects to push broadband rates to up to 50 Mbps. Pilot trials are currently underway in Stuttgart und Hamburg offering speeds of up to 25 Mbps. T-Com intends to provide Germany's 50 largest cities with high-speed broadband lines by 2007. By mid-2006, the first cities will be connected to the new optical fiber network, enabling the faster access speeds.

IPTV: T-Online is launching the "T-Online S 100" Media Receiver, an IP streaming set-top box that enables home entertainment via DSL. The Media Receiver is included in the T-Online Vision package together with a splitter for connection to both the DSL network and the Speedport W 500V - a combination of DSL modem, router and DSL phone adapter. The T-Online Vision package will be available for purchase in specialist stores as a starter deal for EUR 49.95 starting in November.

Customized Info Center: New T-Online 6.0 access software is also being released with broadband applications such as T-Online Internet Telefon 6.0, T-Online DSL Manager 6.0 and the T-Online Info Cockpit 6.0. The Cockpit application features a "sidebar" window that provides individualized information through variable mini-programs, or widgets.

Mobile Broadband via HSDPA: Plans for mobile access to the Internet via UMTS are also gaining steam. The company now anticipates the commercial launch of UMTS with HSDPA at the CeBIT trade fair next Spring. Initially, connections will reach up to 1.8 Mbps and will gradually be increased to up to 7.2 Mbps. By then, T-Mobile plans to extend its TV offerings for mobile devices in Germany. A special, innovative TV service will be in place for the 2006 soccer World Cup. T-Mobile is also working on business models to reach wider customer groups with digital radio technologies such as DVB-H and DMB.

Fixed Mobile Convergence: New Voice products include a "Dual Phone" that can communicate via the fixed-network and Wi-Fi along with GSM - one number and one device both at home and on the road. At home, customers make calls through the fixed network, and at a Hotspot, say in an airport or station, they access the Internet via W-LAN - this means better voice quality. And on the go, customers make calls using the tried-and-true GSM technology. The dual phone enables customers to continue using their DSL/WLAN hardware, as well as new value-added services. For example, the synchronization feature with the Outlook address book, video telephony or access - even on the go - to centrally stored MP3 files on their PC. Voicemail calls made at home are free. The Dual Phone device is to be launched in the 2nd quarter of 2006.

SIP Phone Service: Deutsche Telekom also will begin offering a SIP-Phone that not only handle voice and video communications, but also emails, faxes, SMS and MMS. All these message types can be stored in a central "answering machine." The SIP phone will also offer fast access to numerous information and entertainment services: the latest head-lines, traffic information, emergency service information, and shopping and activity tips. Games are also available.

New Tariffs:T-Com and T-Mobile are launching new tariffs in Germany, including a voice flat rate and packages combining the advantages of mobile and fixed-line communications. T-Com will be introducing an flat rate plan in the fall (starting October 6). The T-Net with voice telephony flat rate plan is likely to be just under EUR 40, and the flat rate for an ISDN connection with voice is expected to be around EUR 48. In addition, the minute-based package included in the Call Time rate option in connection with T-ISDN will be doubled effective September 1, 2005.

"Our vision is to give the customer access via one single line - i.e. our broadband connection - to the wealth of the multimedia world, using a range of devices: at present telephones, televisions, PCs, video telephones and multimedia boxes. The benefits of this for our customers are obvious. They will have easy access to superfast Internet, video, games offers, high-quality general entertainment and interactive learning," said Walter Raizner, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Broadband/Fixed Network at Deutsche Telekom.

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