Innovation, research and development

We see all employees as having a role in driving innovation, no matter the role, team or function. Innovation cuts across businesses and operations, from new products or services to process improvements and tweaks to our ways of working.

In 2016, we established Division X as the primary innovation unit tasked with spearheading and accelerating activities in emerging business areas. A part of Division X, Purple+ drives innovation together with and across the entire group. The strategy is straightforward: start with the customers’ spoken or unspoken unmet needs and work from there.

In 2017, we revisited our innovation mission, strategy and ways of working, to establish and improve on processes and functions better capable of capturing new ideas and initiatives.

Exploration, Emerging bets and Commercialization

The way Division X and Purple+ operate and drive business can be divided into three categories: Exploration, Emerging bets and Commercialization. All innovation efforts are prioritized in tight collaboration with operating units, outlining which innovation capabilities should be addressed to maximize impact.



Exploration − long term

Exploration is about identify, explore and develop innovations covering products and services, ecosystems and business models that will generate new business. For initiatives with strong business hypotheses we develop minimum viable products (MVP) with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to be able to verify the hypotheses. If we are able to define a business case they are handed over to other parts of the organization.

Initiatives currently in the exploration phase are, e.g.

  • Urban experience
  • Smart buildings
  • Shopper experience
  • Digital markets
  • Trust & privacy

Emerging bets − medium term

Exploratory initiatives are now more mature. A prime example is Telia Zone, which started as a co-creation and exploration following Telia Company’s investment and innovation partnership with Spotify in 2015. From idea in 2015, to exploration in 2016 and an emerging bet in 2017 – in two years’ time, Telia Zone has transformed from an idea to being rolled-out to more than 750,000 households. Starting to test the waters on the consumer side, now moving into the B2B space and beyond.

Initiatives currently in the Emerging bets phase are:

  • Smart public transport
  • Telia App market - a host for cloud services
  • Web accelerator - a solution to improve performance
  • Enterprise & Public IoT
  • Telia Sense - a solution for the connected car
  • Telia Zone - a solution for the smart home
  • Crowd analytics

Commercialization − now

In the Commercialization stage are initiatives with a broad market and customer uptake. Basic IoT connectivity and Fältcom’s solutions qualify for this phase.

As of December 31, 2017, Telia Company had 319 patent “families” and 1,596 patents and patent applications, with no significant changes compared to the previous year. In 2017, Telia Company continued to modernize the patent portfolio by focusing on emerging technologies.

In continuing operations, Telia Company incurred R&D expenses of SEK 286 million in 2017 (173).