Innovation, research and development (R&D) activities are performed to ensure Telia Company’s leading position in the telecom industry as well as to support competitive operations in the short and long term. During 2016, Telia Company further strengthened its focus on boosting innovation by the establishment of Division X, which is tasked with spearheading and accelerating Telia Company’s activities in emerging business areas such as Cloud, Internet of Things and eHealth. Also the existing Purple+ innovation unit has joined Division X to fast track and quickly ramp up new growth initiatives.
Telia Company and Spotify continued their innovation co-operation, which resulted in the joint launch of the software developer API “Premium Zone” in June 2016, enabling exciting new services such as “CoPlay”, which is a dynamic playlist generated through social integration between Spotify users. At the same time the new digital ecosystem “Telia Zone” including start-up partners such as Glue, Manetos, Jaramba, Bright, etc. was announced and the roll-out to our customers started in November 2016.
Telia Company has also launched a partnership with as well as invested into eBuilder, the innovative provider of the orchestrated customer care, which will reduce support waiting time across all channels for our customers. The service is operational in Sweden and will be rolled-out in the Nordics and Baltics during 2017.
Telia Sense, the cloud-based solution enabling high-end car features for the cars of today and tomorrow, had its Swedish commercial launch in November 2016, with leading ecosystems partners like Bilia, Bilprovningen and Folksam. During 2017, more partners will be signing up and the service to be rolled out across the Nordics and Baltics, and also likely to be launched by other operators, which are piloting Telia Sense.
As of December 31, 2016, Telia Company had 326 patent “families” and 1,646 patents and patent applications. In 2016, Telia Company has completed the streamlining of Patent portfolio in which 25 patent “families” were abandoned or expired, which cover outdated solutions or otherwise the value of the patent family is reduced.
In the continuing operations, Telia Company in 2016 incurred R&D expenses of SEK 173 million (147).