Cooperation key to combating OTT players – Deutsche Telekom CEO - Mobile World Live

Cooperation key to combating OTT players – Deutsche Telekom CEO

26 FEB 2013

Operators need to be smarter in how they work if they are to thrive in a world where OTT players exist, Deutsche Telekom CEO René Obermann said in his keynote at Congress.

Under the theme of “do more with less”, Obermann said a more open culture is needed in which operators cooperate as well as compete with third party companies and OTT. “Cooperation is key. Coopetition is unavoidable, it is necessary,” he said.

“Telcos have to become much smarter than they are today. They have to embrace innovation more aggressively, primarily by partnering, by opening up, by considering themselves and behaving like platforms open towards third-party providers of services.”

Obermann stressed the value of open innovation that is not just confined within operators.

Deutsche Telekom has invested in 80 small and medium-sized companies in order to tap into innovation happening outside the operator community.

Operators should also provide APIs to technology companies that can then develop services for operator networks, such as authentication, authorisation and messaging. “We have to consider ourselves as enablers, as partners for the innovators,” Obermann said.

“Cooperation really is part of our strategy, it should become part of our DNA,” he said, adding that working with larger companies such as Ericsson is also “key to innovation”.

However Obermann noted that this change in approach will not be easy as it represents a “big cultural shift” for traditional telcos.

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