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3G/HSPA

MWC 2010: DT Plans for More Data

BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- Just a few months into his new job as CTO of Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), one of the first things that Olivier Baujard has learned is the importance of tint in the carrier's corporate color scheme.

"It's not pink, it's magenta," he quipped when Light Reading Mobile met him this week on the T-Mobile (DT's mobile brand) stand here at the Mobile World Congress, which is bathed in funky pink -- ahem, magenta -- lighting.

Baujard, who was previously head of technology and head of the French business at Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), took on the CTO role at one of the world's largest telecom operators on November 16. In an interview with Light Reading TV, Baujard explained the operator's plans for rolling out Long Term Evolution (LTE), the timeline for which in Europe is dependent on when Deutsche Telekom can get new spectrum. (See DT Snaps Up Former AlcaLu Man and AlcaLu Unveils New Leadership Team.)

As for the operator's 3G networks, Baujard is quick to dispel fears of a looming capacity crunch on his networks.

"We should not be misled by the problem of mobile data," he told us. "The more our customers use our services, the better it is for us."

He believes that the key to averting any potential capacity crisis on the mobile data network is for the operator's marketing and technical programs to be in sync, which is what he claims Deutsche Telekom does.

"We really market like hell mobile data. Fortunately, there is consistent anticipation between the marketing track and the technology track. It doesn't mean we don't make mistakes, though."

In addition, Deutsche Telekom has taken measures to act sooner to add capacity on the network when needed because the data traffic is increasing so rapidly. Data traffic is growing at a rate of 45 percent to 50 percent per annum, Baujard asserts.

With such traffic growth to deal with, the operator has lowered the threshold for the data traffic load on the network from 70 percent to 60 percent, which serves as the trigger for deciding when to invest in more network capacity.

"If we see 60 percent load persistently, if it is a trend, then we say, yes, let's invest," he said, explaining that capacity is most easily added in the aggregation and transport parts of the network. (See MWC 2010: T-Mobile Boosts Backhaul.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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