Telefonica plans to sell radio masts for 1.5 billion euros


Telefonica Germany already sold a good 2,000 transmission towers to Telxius in 2016.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The Spanish telecom giant Telefonica is conducting negotiations with telecommunications infrastructure company Telxius on the sale of radio masts from its German subsidiary Telefonica Deutschland, according to a media report. The Spanish newspaper “Expansion” reported on Friday that a sales sum of 1.5 billion euros was under discussion.

It is about up to 10,000 masts. Telxius is more than 50 percent owned by Telefonica, further shareholders are the financial investor KKR and the investment fund Pontegadea, which belongs to the textile billionaire Amancio Ortega. Telefonica and Telefonica Deutschland did not want to comment.


Vodafone warns of attacks on 5G antennas in Germany

Attacks on 5G cell towers

A 5G transmitter was destroyed in an arson attack in Huddersfield in Northern England.

(Photo: AFP)

Dusseldorf The network operator Vodafone has warned of attacks on cell towers in Germany. Arson attacks have already taken place in several EU countries. Similar things could happen in Germany, said Vodafone Germany boss Hannes Ametsreiter on Wednesday.

“These activities can endanger life,” said Ametsreiter. In the UK, a cell tower near a hospital was destroyed, and emergency calls could not be made. That is a worrying development.

The background to the attacks are conspiracy theories that have linked the expansion of 5G mobile communications to the outbreak of the corona pandemic. Masts had been damaged or destroyed in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Cyprus.

Despite attempts by scientists and politicians to calm the population, concerns about similar events in Germany are increasing. Vodafone technical director Gerhard Mack said: “We must not fool ourselves.” The expansion of 5G mobile radio is still in the early stages in Germany. In the Federal Republic, “many thousands of new masts” would still have to be built to supply the population with 5G.

German industry in particular had been pushing for a 5G supply that was as extensive as possible. She hopes to be the basis for new products, better networking of production and the basis for applications such as autonomous driving.

Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom announced on Wednesday to significantly expand the expansion of 5G mobile radio in Germany. Telekom wants to supply half of the German population with 5G this year. That would correspond to about 40 million people. “We have big plans for 5G and will bring the latest mobile communications standard to large parts of Germany this year,” says Telekom Germany boss Dirk Wössner.

Vodafone also announced that it would make its 5G network available to around ten million people in Germany this year. In the beginning, Vodafone focused on the cities, said Ametsreiter. “Now we’re bringing 5G to the area.”

Important frequencies for 5G were auctioned in Germany last year. In addition to Telekom and Vodafone, Telefónica Deutschland and the newcomer also secured themselves for a total of 6.55 billion euros Drillish, behind which the group United Internet (Brands 1 & 1, GMX, stands, frequencies. The nationwide expansion of mobile radio technology will take years.

More: This is how scientists assess the theories about the relationship between 5G and corona.


Telekom, Vodafone and O2 fail to meet network specifications

Dusseldorf For years there has been a dispute over the quality of mobile communications in Germany. The federal government wanted to create the exemption in 2015. With the award of the mobile radio frequencies in 2015, it imposed targets for minimum coverage on the three network operators. Now the network agency is determining: No company has met the requirements.

The deadline had actually expired at the beginning of this year. The Federal Network Agency had taken the time to understand the results. Authorities chief Jochen Homann made a clear announcement to the public on Tuesday: “We want to see verifiable improvements over the next few months that will ensure that the requirements are fully met by the end of the year.”

On top of that. “This expressly includes the fact that we may impose fines and fines,” said Homann

The Federal Network Agency set goals in 2015. This includes that by the beginning of 2020, 98 percent of all households in Germany and 97 percent of households in each federal state must be supplied with a data speed of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbit / s) and antenna sector. In addition, motorways and rails should also be fully supplied.

Connection and data interruptions while driving on the main traffic routes should actually no longer exist in Germany today. But the reality is obviously different. The results at a glance:

Deutsche Telekom

Even the industry leader was unable to meet the requirements. According to the network agency, Deutsche Telekom “narrowly missed” the requirements in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. The main traffic routes were also not completely supplied. The authority reported a value of 97 percent for motorways and 96 percent for railways.

At the end of 2019, there was still some catching up to do in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, Telekom admitted on request. A spokesman said the company is continuously expanding its network. “We have now also exceeded 97 percent in Saarland,” said the spokesman. In addition, Telekom had the best network in the mobile radio tests of the magazines “Chip” and “Connect” for the first quarter of 2020.

Telekom admitted that there was room for improvement in the motorways and railways. There is a plan to supply the routes completely. However, the approval of the necessary locations for cell towers is a challenge.

Telekom Germany boss Dirk Wössner complained: “We are already expanding beyond our commitments and could already have an even higher LTE coverage today if it were not so difficult to get new antenna locations and obtain permits in many places.”


The authority accused the network operator of not complying with the requirements in four federal states. These are Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. In addition, the network agency found that only 96 percent of motorways and railways were only 95 percent supplied.

A spokesman for Vodafone said there was a “difference of opinion” between the company and the agency about the interpretation of the supply requirements. Since the beginning of the year, the network operator has “implemented” 2400 LTE construction projects. “We are therefore confident that we will also comply with the stricter interpretation of the Federal Network Agency,” said the spokesman.

Telefónica Germany

The network operator behind the O2 brand was by far the bottom of the review by the Federal Network Agency. In all 13 federal states, the supply requirements were not met. In addition, only about 80 percent of the main traffic routes are supplied.

Handelsblatt learned that the Federal Network Agency Telefónica has therefore set tight partial deadlines. In order to meet the requirements, 7600 mobile phone locations would still be necessary, it says in a letter to the advisory board of the Federal Network Agency. By the end of June, Telefónica is to build 40 percent of the locations. The share should increase to 65 percent by the end of September and all necessary locations should be established by the end of the year, the authority dictated to the company.

A Telefónica spokeswoman said: “We have presented a clear plan on how we will achieve the missing percentage points from the expansion requirement of 2015.” The company is convinced that it can fulfill the plan. “It is in our own interest to provide large parts of the population and area with mobile communications as quickly as possible,” said the spokeswoman.

The consequences

The Federal Network Agency requires network operators to report each month how many mobile phone locations they have put into operation. The authority wants to check this information on a random basis. Otherwise, the authority faces fines.

More: Actually wants 1 & 1 Drillishly become the fourth network operator in Germany. But the corona virus becomes a problem – and there is more.


United Internet approves new share buyback program

United Internet

The Management Board of United Internet has launched a share buy-back program with the approval of the Supervisory Board.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin The internet and mobile operator United Internet wants to launch a new share buyback program. As part of this program, up to five million company shares are to be bought back via the stock exchange, the company listed in the MDax announces in a mandatory notice.

The total volume of the share buyback program is up to 150 million euros. The program should start on April 3 and will run until August 31, 2020 at the longest. The company plans to release further details before the share buyback begins.

With the resolution, United Internet “makes use of the authorization granted by the Annual General Meeting on May 18, 2017,” the statement continues. On the basis of this authorization, the company has so far 12,635,523 shares, which according to the information account for 6.51 percent of the share capital. The company currently holds 6,338,513 treasury shares.

United Internet boss Ralph Dommermuth wants with the telecommunications subsidiary 1 & 1 Drillisch Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and challenge Telefónica and become part of the network operators.

But the project is delayed. The planned schedule could no longer be met, said Dommermuth at the press conference at the end of March. The reason is the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which makes network expansion difficult. Permits are required, which are currently difficult to obtain because many building authorities have closed.

Stagnating business this year

Although the company has seen a sharp increase in telephone calls and data consumption in the fixed network, the company expects business to stagnate overall this year.

However, the impact of the pandemic is just one of several challenges for the company. United Internet wants to be able to use the existing networks in Germany, at least in the meantime, to set up its own infrastructure.

His company had been talking to Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica for months. But no agreement had yet been reached. “The three potential negotiating partners are in no particular hurry,” said Dommermuth.

More: United Internet is aiming for stable business.


Huawei expects a difficult year and threatens the US government


Last year the group felt the effects of export restrictions.

(Photo: AFP)

Shenzhen For the world’s largest network supplier, Huawei, the current year could be the most difficult in its history due to the US sanctions. Eric Xu, Chairman of the Board of Directors, warned on Tuesday that further export restrictions could destroy global supply chains.

Huawei already felt the problems last year. The profit increase weakened significantly to 5.6 percent, which Huawei brought in the equivalent of almost 8.1 billion euros. It was the smallest plus in the past three years. Things were not going so smoothly, especially outside of China.

US-led Western intelligence agencies accuse Huawei of inappropriately connecting to the Beijing government. You suspect that the manufacturer’s equipment or cell phones could be used for espionage purposes. Evidence for this has not yet been presented, Huawei rejects the allegations.

Even so, the US government blacklisted the company and warned other countries against using Chinese equipment to build its 5G networks. In addition, the government in Washington also wants to take action against chip sales to Huawei.

“The Chinese government will not just watch and see how Huawei fillets are filleted on the kitchen board,” Xu warned. In return, China could also ban the use of 5G semiconductors or other products from US companies.

So far, Huawei has always stressed that it operates completely independently of the Chinese government. With the open threat to the United States, Xu now led reactions from Beijing.

The statements made by Huawei’s chairman are the latest high point in the dispute. Huawei had to launch its latest top devices outside of China without the Google Android operating system. Industry experts therefore fear a drop in sales. In Germany or other countries, consumers might not be willing to pay hundreds of euros for devices on which they cannot simply use popular services such as Google Maps or YouTube.

The Group’s sales climbed last year, primarily due to the flourishing smartphone business in Germany, by 19 percent to the equivalent of around 110 billion euros. According to market researcher Canalys, Huawei, as the industry leader, now has a market share of 39 percent in the People’s Republic. Huawei benefited from the fact that many Chinese wanted to buy smartphones from a domestic provider after the US blacklisted the company.

Huawei had actually announced that it would no longer use components from the United States for its products. When analyzing the new flagship smartphone P40, the Financial Times however, after components from US companies continued to be used.

More: Huawei builds first factory outside of China in France.


Corona virus delays the establishment of the 5G network

United Internet boss Ralph Dommermuth

The entrepreneur’s network plans are delayed.

(Photo: Thies Rätzke for Handesblatt)

Dusseldorf Internet entrepreneur Ralph Dommermuth wanted to rise to the circle of network operators in Germany. He wanted Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and challenge Telefónica. The construction of the new infrastructure should actually start now. But the project is delayed. The planned schedule could no longer be met, said Dommermuth on Thursday at his company’s balance sheet press conference United Internet.

The outbreak of the corona pandemic complicates network expansion. Permits are needed for the laying of new fiber optic lines. But these are currently difficult to get. “Many building authorities have closed,” said Dommermuth. Dommermuth is also cautious when it comes to business development.

Although his company saw a sharp increase in telephone calls and data consumption in the fixed network, the company expects business to stagnate overall this year. The company behind brands such as GMX and had increased its sales by 1.8 percent to around 5.2 billion euros in the past financial year.

Adjusted earnings (Ebitda) rose 5.4 percent to just under EUR 1.27 billion. The MDax group plans to raise its dividend from five cents in the previous year to 50 cents. At the subsidiary 1 & 1 Drillisch, who is primarily responsible for the network expansion, announced Dommermuth, however, to keep the dividend at the prescribed minimum of five cents. “We want to keep our powder dry,” said Dommermuth.

However, the impact of the corona pandemic is just one of several challenges facing the company. United Internet wants to be able to use the existing networks in Germany at least in the meantime to set up its own infrastructure. His company had been talking to Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica for months. But no agreement had yet been reached. “The three potential negotiating partners are in no particular hurry,” said Dommermuth.

Federal Network Agency could intervene

The conflict between the newcomer and the established providers was already emerging. The heads of Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica had spoken out against building a new competitor right from the start. However, all four companies took part in the auction of the frequencies for the upcoming 5G mobile communications standard last year. United Internet alone had paid more than one billion euros for the use of the frequencies.

The Handelsblatt learned from corporate circles that the network operators Vodafone and Telefónica had already submitted contracts for the shared use of their infrastructure. However, the network operators could not agree on the financial details with United Internet or 1 & 1 Drillisch.

If the companies do not come together, the case could end up with the Federal Network Agency. The authority sets the framework for the telecommunications industry in Germany. It had decided against an obligation to share the infrastructure required by United Internet. Authorities president Jochen Homann had argued, however, that there was a “negotiation requirement” and a “prohibition of discrimination”.

If negotiations between the companies fail, the authority could check whether government intervention is necessary. However, it is unclear how long such a check would take.

More: The corona pandemic is a stress test for the data networks.


Corona pandemic: Netflix throttles streaming

Düsseldorf, Berlin, Brussels The economy and society in Europe have never been more dependent on data networks than they are today. Whether home office or video telephony with friends: the networks are becoming the digital lifeline in Europe. The more people use telework, follow digital learning content or pass the time with online films, the more data rates increase. Concern about a possible network overload is omnipresent.

The world’s largest video streaming service Netflix has now drawn consequences: In Europe, the quality of the transmission will be throttled for 30 days, as the US company announced on Thursday. The videos would continue to be broadcast in “good quality”, but caused around 25 percent less data traffic, said Netflix.

The provider responded with the step to an appeal by EU Commissioner Thierry Breton. He had spoken to Netflix boss Reed Hastings on Thursday for the second day in a row and suggested that the image quality should be automatically reduced from HD to standard resolution when the workload was high. Netflix recommends an Internet speed of five megabits per second for HD (High Definition), while the standard resolution is three megabits per second.

There are still only a few signs that teleworking and streaming could put excessive strain on the networks. But the EU Commission and the national supervisory authorities want to ensure that the capacities are sufficient even if more people work or study from home due to the pandemic. So they appealed in a joint statement on Thursday not only on video platforms, but also to end users, with leisure activities such as streaming entertainment films not to disrupt the work of companies or online learning content.

Network operators left in Germany

The CEO of Deutsche Telekom, Timotheus Höttges, said: “Our networks always have to be stable and secure.” His company had taken all the necessary precautions for this. “Our network is the lifeline of digital coexistence.” According to Deutsche Telekom, it has registered increasing data rates, especially in the fixed network. However, these are not critical for the systems. The two other mobile network operators in Germany also gave the all-clear, Vodafone and Telefónica.

Data traffic at the world’s largest internet node in Frankfurt increased by ten percent in the week to Wednesday, reports operator DE-CIX. An increase of 20 percent has been recorded across all locations since the beginning of March.

Video conferences in particular contributed to the increase, with an increase of around 50 percent, but also increased access to company networks via encrypted VPN connections. In addition, the Internet is becoming more and more important when it comes to leisure activities: DE-CIX records an increase of 25 percent in online games. The use of social media platforms is also increasing significantly.

Despite the sharp rise, no bottlenecks are to be expected, says head of technology Thomas King: “The capacities in our own network will be expanded regularly and in the long term.” As soon as the load is 63 percent, investments will be made again. DE-CIX therefore calms down: Even if all companies in Europe were to focus exclusively on remote work, the data hub would be powerful enough.

Telekom is giving away extra data volume

At Deutsche Telekom, the situation is seen so relaxed that the company itself made additional offers to its customers. Telekom provided ten gigabytes of additional mobile data volume per month free of charge and offered home office solutions and video streaming services for a limited time. This should the DaxGroup rather drive the data volume.

The situation is different in Spain. There, the five major network operators called on their customers last Sunday not to use data-intensive streaming services such as films or games as far as possible during normal working hours in order not to overload the networks excessively. The ADSLZone website reported on Sunday that the web was ten percent slower due to congestion. But no major problems have occurred since then, although all schools have been closed this week and a large part of the shops have had to close.

EU Commissioner Breton also encouraged network operators to take countermeasures in the event of an impending overload. The EU rules for free internet access give them the necessary scope. In the past, scenarios were discussed in which computer games are deliberately slowed down in order to enable smooth access to learning content from school platforms.

However, such interventions are politically sensitive because they could shake the principle of net neutrality. According to the EU regulation, telecommunications providers must not restrict traffic in their networks, and they must not prefer or disadvantage individual services. But there are exceptions, for example to temporarily avoid bottlenecks in special situations.

“Moderate increase of around ten percent”

The President of the IT association Bitkom, Achim Berg, welcomed the EU Commission’s move to reduce data in video streaming services. “If, contrary to expectations, congestion scenarios arise in the telecommunications networks, the dialogue between video-on-demand providers and network operators provided by the European Union makes sense,” said Berg. Much of the data traffic in the networks is caused by video streaming. “Reducing the video resolution can significantly reduce this burden and at the same time ensure the basic availability of the offers.”

Berg believes that landline and mobile communications infrastructure in Germany is “well armed” for the increased use of digital applications and services in the wake of the corona crisis. “Network operators are currently experiencing a moderate increase of around ten percent in data traffic,” explained the Bitkom President. The peak loads would continue to be reached in the evening when streaming services are used particularly heavily. However, the network operators continuously checked the stability of the networks. Berg says: “Any bottlenecks can be prevented by effective network management.”

More: The corona virus is a stress test for the data networks.


Deutsche Telekom offers users free services

Telekom boss Timotheus Höttges

The Dax group increases the data volume for its customers.

(Photo: AP)

Dusseldorf Because of the corona virus pandemic, the Deutsche Telekom free offers to their customers. “Every mobile phone customer gets an additional ten gigabytes of data volume,” said CEO Timotheus Höttges in a video message. And every customer gets the Disney + streaming service for six months free of charge.

“We are now helping companies to make working from home even easier for their employees,” continued Höttges. Business customers receive the Office 365 and WebExConferencing services for a limited period of three months. Schools also receive conference services free of charge for three months.

A few days earlier, Telekom’s US subsidiary, T-Mobile US, in response to the coronavirus outbreak, provided its customers with unlimited data volumes and announced that it would turn a blind eye to unpaid bills.

Now the parent company for Germany has followed suit with its own range of offers. “Covid-19 challenges us. But I am encouraged that we are currently experiencing strong signs of solidarity, ”said Höttges. Telekom wants to make its contribution. “Our network is the lifeline of digital coexistence, which is so important right now.”

More: Telekom passes movement data on to the Robert Koch Institute.


Corona virus is a stress test for data networks

Dusseldorf, Madrid The calls of the past few days to stay at home because of the sharp rise in people with corona have spurred Internet traffic in Spain. Last Sunday, the five Spanish network operators called on the population not to use data-intensive streaming services for films or games during regular working hours in order to avoid a network collapse.

In the past few days, the data volume in the telecom networks had increased by 40 percent, cell phone calls skyrocketed by 50 percent, and mobile data usage by a quarter. Whatsapp news has quintupled.

In Germany, however, the situation is relaxed. All German network operators gave the all-clear on a Handelsblatt survey. So far, there has been no sudden increase in data usage, representatives of Deutsche Telekom said Vodafone and Telefónica on request.

A spokesman for the Deutsche Telekom said: “We already activated our emergency and pandemic plans in January and are prepared as best we can.” The main goal is to ensure the operation of the infrastructure. So far, there has been no particular load on the network.

“We are currently not seeing any significant increase in data traffic,” said the Telekom spokesman. The network operators Vodafone and Telefónica did not initially register a strong increase in data usage in Germany on Monday.

The president of the IT association Bitkom, Achim Berg, also sees broadband internet networks in Germany armed for increased data traffic. The relocation of many professional and leisure activities to one’s own home as a result of the corona crisis has resulted in “growing demands on the networks,” Berg told Handelsblatt. “This leads to larger amounts of data in the networks, but not necessarily to new peak loads, which usually appear in the evening after the end of normal working hours.” So far, “no serious impairments are known in Germany and they are not expected”. However, it is important to carefully monitor further developments.

Huge amounts of data – every day

The world’s largest internet hub is located in Frankfurt. The German Commercial Internet Exchange, abbreviated DE-CIX, handles an important part of the European data connections. A world record was registered there a few days ago. For the first time, data throughput of more than 9 terabits per second was processed in Frankfurt.

However, the outbreak of the corona virus and increasing access to news offers are only one explanation for this, said a DE-CIX spokesman. In addition, the launch of new online games and updates for that AppleOperating system iOS powered the data volume. Bottlenecks are not expected.

“Even if all companies in Europe would only operate their home office and the European Football Championship would also be broadcast, the DE-CIX can provide the necessary bandwidth for smooth interconnection,” said the spokesman.

The eco association of the German Internet industry is currently seeing an increase in data traffic. This is currently around 50 percent of the usual peak time in the evening between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., the association’s deputy chairman, Klaus Landefeld, told Handelsblatt. Although that is more than usual, about 25 to 30 percent of evening traffic would be normal. “However, this does not bring the network to its load limit, since it is distributed over the whole day and mainly affects the otherwise lower traffic times during the day.”

The “jerky” connections that employers may now perceive more in the home office were not due to the fact that the network was overloaded, says Landefeld. “Rather, the problem here is rather in the poorly dimensioned connections of the employers, ie the companies who simply failed to set up their infrastructure in such a way that it can be scaled in an emergency.” The company often retaliates here invest little in their data infrastructure, although more powerful bandwidths and connections would be available. “Companies that have already moved their data traffic to the cloud now have an advantage here.”

According to Bitkom President Berg, video streaming accounts for the largest share of the peak loads in the networks. “The peak loads can be attributed to the fact that users stream their favorite series in the evening,” said the Bitkom President. “The networks are designed for this and they can handle it.” Video streaming therefore accounts for about 60 percent of all data traffic. The requirements of home office and e-learning are comparatively low, says Berg. “Emails and collaboration tools only require very small bandwidths.” Even video conferences with “comparatively low speeds between 2 and 8 megabits per second (Mbit / s) are” easily possible “.

Full networks in Spain

A special situation is the closure of schools and many day care centers. Since Monday, a number of employees have had to reorganize their children’s care – this also affects the operators of the telecommunications networks.

“In view of the current developments regarding the closure of schools and daycare centers, we have recommended that all colleagues – especially those with children of daycare or school age – work in the home office as far as possible for the continuation of the operative business”, said a Telefónica spokesman.

In Spain, on the other hand, the government has decided on further measures. There has been a curfew since Sunday, people are only allowed to leave their homes to buy groceries or go to work. Monday is the first working day of the lock, when many shopkeepers have to stay at home and all schools and universities across the country are closed.

It is the definitive stress test for the Spanish networks. Industry leader Telefónica wants to take stock in the evening. So far there do not seem to be any major disruptions in the network.

As a precaution, the network operators have, among other things, asked their customers to use the landline for calls; no large files, but rather to send links; and to avoid mass emails.

Handelsblatt Morning Briefing - Corona Spezial

Spain has one of the best broadband networks in Europe. There are more fast fiber optic lines there than in Germany, Italy, France and Great Britain combined. The network operators’ call for caution suggests that there could still be bottlenecks.

This is not feared by the Landefeld Eco Association Vice President for Germany. “If the general data traffic, for example due to a curfew, as is currently practiced in Italy and Spain, also increases in Germany, load limits, which primarily result from increased video streaming, would probably be due to an adjustment of the streaming qualities by the Cushioned provider, ”he said. This is already the case today, for example, with peaks during the World Cup.

More: The perfect bait – cyber criminals use the corona panic.


Huawei regains top position in patent statistics

Munich, Dusseldorf Initially, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei appeared uncertain when he appeared at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. The 75-year-old sat motionless on his chair with his hands folded. But when he spoke about the allegations of the US government that his technology company was helping the Chinese government with cyber espionage, he quickly picked up speed.

“The US will expand its attacks against us this year. But that won’t bother us much, ”he said. He invested his entire wealth in research and development of products for Huawei. This is part of Huawei’s central strategy and has helped the group even in difficult phases. The company is now well positioned to withstand further attacks by the USA.

Now it becomes clear why the Huawei founder in Davos was so self-confident. Because of the sanctions of the US government, which Huawei put on the black list, the Chinese were cut off by many suppliers. But the company invested heavily in its own development and research in order to become more independent of supply chains.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the European patent statistics published this Thursday. Huawei took back the top spot last year. The Chinese company registered 3,524 inventions with the European Patent Office (EPO).

With this, Huawei clearly demonstrated Samsung, which registered 2,858 patents. Siemens, still in first place in 2018, the number of registrations increased to 2619, but ended up as the best German company only in fifth place.


Huawei had first place in Europe for patent applications in 2017. This showed that Chinese companies are using technological innovations to penetrate the world markets more and more. This trend continued in the past year. The number of patent applications from China rose again by more than 29 percent. A large number of patents recently related to the topics of artificial intelligence and 5G.

Huawei is considered the leading provider of 5G equipment worldwide. The next mobile radio standard is particularly interesting for the industry, which wants to use it to network their production. Technology from Huawei is already in all three German mobile phone networks. Both the Deutsche Telekom as well as Vodafone and Telefónica Deutschland (brand O2) rely heavily on Huawei.

Increase in registration numbers

Siemens takes the slide down to fifth place athletically. “We were able to increase our patent applications again by five percent and are again by far the largest European patent applicant,” said Siemens patent chief Beat Weibel the Handelsblatt. This makes Siemens “one of the most innovative companies in digital technologies and artificial intelligence”. In addition, Siemens pays attention “less to quantity, but to quality and the broad regional positioning of our property rights”.

Nevertheless, Huawei has achieved a prestige success. The Chinese technology group has spent a large part of its sales on research and development for many years. In 2018, the volume was $ 15.3 billion, or 14 percent of sales.

In absolute terms, Huawei was one of the world’s leading companies in terms of development spending. Just stood in front of Huawei Amazon, the GoogleParent company alphabet and Samsung. Companies such as Microsoft, Volkswagen and Apple. There are still no final figures for 2019.

Overall, the EPO recorded a four percent increase in patent applications last year to 181,400 inventions for the first time. The growth was particularly strong with an increase of almost 20 percent in the area of ​​digital communication. This rapid growth is “the outstanding trend,” said EPO President António Campinos. “The rapid increase clearly reflects the digital transformation of the economy.”

Patent applications by German companies stagnated at 26,805 last year. Siemens has been one of the most active patent applicants for many years. The automotive supplier Robert Bosch, however, recorded an increase of 16 percent and worked its way to tenth place as the second best German company. Follow in the ranking of the largest EPO applicants from Germany BASF, Continental and the Fraunhofer Society.

German companies are well positioned on important future issues. Siemens is among the top five in the areas of machine learning and pattern recognition, image data processing and generation, and data retrieval. Bosch takes second place in machine learning and pattern recognition.

More: Germany is losing touch with innovations