The emergency call was cut for a good hour across much of the republic on Thursday, and now Deutsche Telekom has expressed regret. “I apologize to everyone involved,” CEO Tim Höttges said on Friday. “The responsibility lies with us. “
The cause of the malfunction is apparently software updates that the group installed in parts of the network very early in the morning. “We do this consciously when the traffic on our infrastructure is completely empty,” says Höttges. Typically, customers would not even notice such maintenance windows. “In this case, something happened,” admits the boss of Telekom. Staff then initially reset the software to the old setting.
“We will now move on to the technical reconditioning,” says Höttges. Above all, it is necessary to know why the triple protection of the network was violated in the case. “This must not happen,” says the manager. “The most important thing is that it was not a hacker attack.” According to its own statements, the Federal Office for Information Security also sees no evidence of a cyber attack. In the meantime, Telekom installed the software update, says Höttges, and it worked perfectly.
The failure of the emergency numbers 110 and 112 had raised questions and anger among the security authorities. “It doesn’t work that way,” complained the Minister of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia Herbert Reul. Police and firefighters called on the population via local media and the internet to contact local authorities directly in the event of an emergency during the disruption.
Many T shareholders expected to receive higher dividend next year
Despite the outage, Telekom released positive figures for them on Friday. The group now expects a profit of around 38 billion euros before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization this year, or 800 million euros more than expected. That’s a lot of money, on the other hand, Telekom also has to pay interest on its many debts and invest billions in expanding the network.
The group benefits from the fact that it has won customers both in Europe and in the USA. In the United States, Telekom is now in the same league as major mobile communications providers AT&T and Verizon, since its T-Mobile subsidiary merged with competitor Sprint last year. In addition, Telekom is once again reporting more revenue from roaming charges since travel restrictions were relaxed during the corona pandemic and more people are traveling abroad again.
The group’s shareholders – traditionally numerous – should also benefit from developments: the Management Board intends to pay them a dividend of 64 cents per share next year, four cents more than last year. The supervisory board and the general meeting still have to formally decide on the distribution.