Deutsche Telekom's Jacobfeuerborn wins CTO of the Year 2016

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Deutsche Telekom's Bruno Jacobfeuerborn has been crowned Mobile Europe's third annual CTO of the Year, after being hailed as the complete CTO.

In an unanimous decision, the judging panel hailed Jacobfeuerborn's ability to multitask, expertly splitting his time between managing the tech strategy at both regional and group level, and also participating in crucial cross industry bodies, such as his chairmanship of NGMN.

The CTO of the Year is judged against four key criteria; operational excellence, innovation, customer experience and impact.

Notably, Jacobfeuerborn has been central to DT's shift towards an all-IP network. The project has been completed across four countries to date, with Hungary expected to follow in the coming months. In Jacobfeuerborn's native Germany, almost 10 million connections have been migrated and the project is on course to be completed by 2018.

Deutsche Telekom now has 90 percent of its population covered by LTE and as of September last year, it offered 4G in all of its European markets.

The CTO, who joined the company that became Deutsche Telekom in 1989, has also played a central role in developing 5G. He is chairman of the cross-industry NGMN alliance, which aims to develop the requirements and characteristics of 5G.

DT has been one of the more active European operators in 5G research as a result. Jacobfeuerborn launched the operator's 5G:haus, a next generation innovation lab, last year. Among those involved in the lab are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE and Huawei, as well as university researchers.

Jacobfeuerborn follows in the footsteps of Telefónica's Enrique Blanco and EE's Fotis Karonis who were crowned CTO of the Year award in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

This year's award was supported by Amdocs and Huawei. The judging panel comprised Mobile Europe Editor Graeme Neill, Northstream CEO Bengt Nordstrom and Rethink Technology Research Director Caroline Gabriel.

Neill said: "In an incredibly competitive list of candidates, Bruno Jacobfeuerborn stood out for his strategic thinking and ability to juggle a wide range of projects and priorities. Any CTO needs to have a strong sense of organisation and ability to think several years ahead and Jacobfeuerborn was a brilliant example of a CTO both responding to the demands of the present and building a network of the future."

Gabriel added: "Bruno Jacobfeuerborn has a remarkably hands-on approach considering the sheer size of the organisation he runs, and so the technology achievements of the Deutsche Telekom group in the past year owe a great deal to his personal direction."

The other shortlisted candidates included MTS's Andrei Ushatskiy, Orange Romania's Stefan Slavnicu, Proximus's Geert Standaert, and Turkcell's Ilker Kuruoz.

A profile interview with the winner will appear in the next issue of Mobile Europe. Over the coming weeks, we will broadcast video interviews with CTOs who attended the awards ceremony.