Telekom Innovation Laboratories

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Telekom Innovation Laboratories
TypeResearch Institute, Public Private Partnership
PurposeTelecommunications research
EIT Digital
LeaderJohn Calian
Parent organization
Deutsche Telekom, Technische Universität Berlin
about 300

Telekom Innovation Laboratories (also called T-Labs) is the R&D unit of Deutsche Telekom and is in a close partnership with the Technische Universität Berlin. Here, at T-Labs, more than 300 international experts and scientists work together on blockchain technology, smart city concepts, artificial intelligence and new media experiences. At its sites in Berlin, Darmstadt, Budapest, Be'er Sheva (Israel) and Vienna, T-Labs sits amongst a world-class host of universities, startups, investors, research institutes and corporate innovation hubs to jointly shape the future of communication services. T-Labs are working since 2006 in close cooperation with the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and other universities, such as the Berlin University of the Arts, the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and the TU Wien (Austria).


T-Labs were founded in 2004 as the central research and development institute of Deutsche Telekom under the direction of Manfred Jeromin. At the same time, T-Labs are also a so-called affiliated institute of Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin), meaning that T-Labs is a privately organized entity that is closely integrated in the teaching and research activities conducted at TU Berlin. This concept promotes intensive collaboration between research and industry. Experts, entrepreneurs and researchers work together on innovations intended for real-world application scenarios and on disruptive technologies in the area of information and communications technology.

T-Labs follow a consistent Open Innovation approach and are themselves an innovation as an affiliated institute and thus pioneered a new form of research and development. In a report for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), T-Labs have been presented as a benchmark example of modern innovation management.[1]

At the beginning, 25 telecom employees and about 50 scientists from many countries worked at the T-Labs. Peter Möckel took over the management from November 2004 to 2011. Under his leadership, several professorships were established at the TU Berlin and a team was set up in Silicon Valley in 2009. In order to design the academic work, a scientific management board was set up which was initially led by Prof. Bernd Girod from Stanford University and then Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wahlster from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sahin Albayrak from the TU Berlin. In 2008, 100 other telecom experts were integrated into the T-Labs and other scientists were hired in parallel. First companies were founded.

Heinrich Arnold was responsible for the reorientation of Telekom Laboratories to more application and implementation-oriented topics. In the course of this reorientation, he took over the management of T-Labs from 2011 until 2016. During this period the foundations were laid for three new business units in the area of cloud computing, smart home and mobile payment for and within Deutsche Telekom. In addition, further focus areas with the topics of health, energy, Machine to machine and media were established. As a result, a number of cross-industrial projects have been carried out for the digital industry, such as in the port of Hamburg in 2012 with industrial partners such as SAP SE, Adidas, Claas, Osram, Siemens, KUKA and Trumpf.[2]

Under the leadership of Heinrich Arnold, about 20 new spin-offs were founded, among others Trust2Core, SureNow, Litedesk, Motionlogic, Benocs, Soundcall, Zimory, Bitplaces, Schaltzeit as well as the digital cloudbased telecommunications service immmr (2016).

In 2016, the EU-Labs programm were found together with the TU-Berlin, to expand the international collaboration. The first institution within this strategy was established at the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. The new professorship "Data science and Engineering" has its focus on the evaluation of economic and environmental relevant data with the help from mobile networks. In 2017, another professorship at the TU Vienna was instituted.

In January 2017, the Management Board division of technology and innovation were found. Since 2017 the T-Labs are under the lead of Dr. Alex Choi and John Calian. Dr. Choi reports directly to Claudia Nemat, the head of the Management board division technology and innovation.

In May 2018 John Calian became the Head of the Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs), in addition to being Vice President of the Blockchain Group, which he founded in June 2017. John is a blockchain expert and well known speaker in the blockchain community and events. As Head of T-Labs, John Calian is responsible for developing and leading innovation topics for Deutsche Telekom and its partners. Prior to joining T-Labs, John held numerous technology leadership roles and was the founder and COO of multiple startup software firms in the Seattle area. Mr. Calian holds an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Washington.

Organization and fields of research[edit]

The T-Labs are working within the Deutsche Telekom for all kind of corporate divisions. With the affiliate institution with the TU Berlin and many other professorships at universities worldwide, an intensive exchange between science and industry is provided. Experts, researcher and businessmen working on practice - oriented innovations and technologies in the field of information- and communication technology.

Since 2017 the T-Labs focus on three main topics:

The fields of research at TU Berlin included

Other prioritised topics of the partners are:

Research scientists[edit]

Some of the experts and scientists who have been working for the T-Labs (who can be found via Wikipedia) :


In October 2009, Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs, Telekom Innovation Laboratories, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institute and antenna supplier Kathrein conducted live field tests of a technology called Coordinated Multipoint Transmission (CoMP) aimed at increasing the data transmission speeds of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and 3G networks.[9] CoMP has been later introduced into 4G standards as one type of Cooperative MIMO.[10]

In 2012, the T-Labs were the first place to implement the microkernel technology with cooperation of the security-professorship by Prof. Jean-Pierre Seifert.

In the same year, the first FlowVisor for SDN was evolved and the world record was won for 512 Gbit /s fixed line data transfer and

In 2014, the largest field trial for iBeacons was implemented.

Since its start, the T-Labs applied for a patent over 900 times for national and international inventions.


T-Labs and its researchers have received more than 50 awards, for example:


  1. ^ "The New Nature of Innovation" (in German). Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  2. ^ "Pressemitteilung - Container schneller an Bord: Hamburg nimmt Kurs auf Hafen der Zukunft". Archived from the original on 2016-08-29. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  3. ^ "Department of Telecommunication Systems: Internet Network Architectures". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  4. ^ "Institute of Software Engineering and Theoretical Computer Science: Quality and Usability Lab". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  5. ^ "Design Research Lab | University of the Arts Berlin". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  6. ^ "Department of Telecommunication Systems: Assessment of IP-based Applications". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  7. ^ "Department of Telecommunication Systems: Service-centric Networking". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  8. ^ "Institut für Softwaretechnik und Theoretische Informatik: Security in Telecommunications". Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  9. ^ Lynnette Luna (October 17, 2009). "Alcatel-Lucent says new antenna technology boosts LTE, 3G data speeds". FierceBroadbandWireless. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
  10. ^ 3GPP Technical Specification (Release 11)
  11. ^ "Stabsstelle Presse, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit und Alumni : Medieninformation Nr. 340/2008". Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  12. ^ "Berliner Informatikerin: Anja Feldmann erhält den Leibnizpreis - Wissen - Tagesspiegel" (in German). Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  13. ^ "Politik aktuell". Retrieved 2012-07-01.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°30′47″N 13°19′12″E / 52.51306°N 13.32000°E / 52.51306; 13.32000