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TypeResearch Institute, Public Private Partnership
PurposeTelecommunications research
EIT Digital
SVP and Head of T-Labs
Dr. Alex Choi
Parent organization
Deutsche Telekom, Technische Universität Berlin
about 300

T-Labs, formerly known as "Telekom Innovation Laboratories", is the R&D unit of Deutsche Telekom. T-Labs current research areas are: Future Networks, Spatial Computing and Decentralized Systems.


T-Labs were founded in 2004 as the central research and development institute of Deutsche Telekom under the direction of Manfred Jeronim. At the same time, T-Labs are also a so-called affiliated institute of Technische Universität Berlin (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 Deutsche Telekom 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.In 2008, 100 other telecom experts were integrated into the T-Labs and further 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 cloud-based telecommunications service immmr (2016).

In 2016, the EU-Labs programme 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.

Since 2017 the T-Labs were under the lead of Dr. Alex Choi and further on of John Calian - from May 2018, until April 2020. John Calian was the Head of the Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) and set up 3 focus topics: Blockchain, Intelligence and Experience.

In April 2022, Dr. Alex Choi took over the leadership of T-Labs.

Organization and fields of research

T-Labs are working within Deutsche Telekom for all kind of corporate divisions with a strong link into network and product innovation. With the affiliate institution with the TU Berlin and many other professorships at universities worldwide, an intensive co-research exchange between science and industry is provided.

As of January 2021, the main focus topics of T-Labs are:

Decentralized Systems: This research area deals with the distribution of authority over data among multiple players and making intermediaries obsolete.

Spatial Computing: is focused on enabling advanced user interaction, at higher standards for various customer segments by using the next generation XR technologies and human-computer interfaces.

Future Networks:

From 2017 until 2020 the T-Labs team was focused on working on three main topics:

The fields of research at TU Berlin included

Other prioritised topics of the partners were:

Research scientists

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


  1. ^ "The New Nature of Innovation" (in German). www.oecd.org. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Pressemitteilung - Container schneller an Bord: Hamburg nimmt Kurs auf Hafen der Zukunft". www.hamburg-port-authority.de. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Department of Telecommunication Systems: Internet Network Architectures". inet.tu-berlin.de. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Institute of Software Engineering and Theoretical Computer Science: Quality and Usability Lab". qu.tu-berlin.de. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Design Research Lab | University of the Arts Berlin". design-research-lab.org. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Department of Telecommunication Systems: Assessment of IP-based Applications". aipa.tu-berlin.de. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Department of Telecommunication Systems: Service-centric Networking". snet.tu-berlin.de. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Institut für Softwaretechnik und Theoretische Informatik: Security in Telecommunications". sect.tu-berlin.de. Retrieved 4 October 2016.

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