Innovation, research and development (R&D) activities are performed to ensure TeliaSonera’s leading position in the telecom industry as well as to support competitive operations in the short and long term. During 2015, TeliaSonera continued its focus on reviving innovation.
Following more than five years of successful partnership, TeliaSonera and Spotify decided to further boost their co-operation. TeliaSonera joined forces with Spotify to take innovation to the next level, and both companies are committing resources, staff and other assets to ignite the joint innovation agenda within areas such as media distribution, customer insights, data analytics and advertising. The partnership should enable offering the customers the best possible experience of using TeliaSonera’s services in their connected lifestyle, whenever and wherever they are.
TeliaSonera has also launched a partnership with Soundtrack Your Brand, the provider of the Spotify branded business-to-business music subscription streaming service. TeliaSonera started to offer Spotify Business™ to small business and enterprise customers in Sweden in January 2015.
As the first operator in the world, TeliaSonera is introducing a cloud based solution enabling high-end car features for the cars of today and tomorrow. Together with partners from the automotive and insurance industries, a combination of car-control functionalities, high-performance connectivity and value added services will be made available in the Nordic and Baltic countries, starting with Sweden in 2016. The end-user interface and the technical platform for Telia Sense are provided by Springworks, a pioneer in building smart human interfaces for internet of things applications. In 2015, TeliaSonera invested in Springworks in order to leverage the development of innovative services.
In the healthcare area, 2015 was another successful year for TeliaSonera. In Sweden, the Telia Healthcare organization scaled up, extended the vision and roadmap as well as speeded up product development. Among five ongoing initiatives, CareView and HomeCare started piloting during 2015. In Finland, the Sonera Healthcare organization was established, Sonera Care solution being tested and a few more pilots are in the pipeline.
Innovation efforts and focus have been further strengthened by the pooling of resources into the newly estab-lished organizational unit Purple+. As part of Global Business, Purple+ has the mission to identify, develop and test future service propositions across the whole group. Activities include exploring ideas for new revenue streams, typically targeting new business models, solutions and excellent customer experience. The Purple+ team work closely with partner companies, such as Spotify, and with potential customers to quickly iterate through the build-measure-learn cycle. The Purple+ unit is located at Epicenter, Stockholm’s first House of Innovation at the heart of the city and Sweden’s digital landscape.
As of December 31, 2015, TeliaSonera had 320 patent “families” and 1,950 patents and patent applications, none of which, individually, is material to its business. In 2015, TeliaSonera has intentionally abandoned over 60 patent families which cover outdated solutions or otherwise the value of the patent family is reduced.
In the continuing operations, TeliaSonera in 2015 incurred R&D expenses of SEK 147 million (228).