Handelsblatt Interview

Connecting Cars and Streetlamps

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Both men come from industries that have had problems operating their core businesses profitably. They see their partnership as a mutually beneficial alliance that will improve profits for both companies.

  • Facts


    • Vodafone-Germany CEO Hannes Ametsreiter and Innogy CEO Peter Terium closed an agreement at his month’s CeBIT trade fair to work together to reinvent the simple streetlamp.
    • The collaboration, they say, is indicative of a new kind of business partnership that will allow infrastructure firms to make seemingly futuristic notions of intelligent cities a contemporary reality.
    • Innogy alone operates 1.5 million streetlamps across Europe. Vodafone will help outfit them with security cameras, screens that play advertisements and other sensors.
  • Audio


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79260640 Peter Terium Hannes Ametsreiter Michael Loewe for HB
Hoping for a successful partnership. Innogy's Peter Terium (left) and Vodafone's Hannes Ametsreiter (right). Source: Michael Löwe for Handelsblatt

On a recent morning at the technology trade fair CeBIT in Hannover, Vodafone-Germany Chief Executive Hannes Ametsreiter and Innogy CEO Peter Terium set out their visions for how intelligently-networked cities will one day work. They depicted a future in which trashcans will automatically report how full they are, and in which streetlamps act as charging stations for electric cars.

The two CEOs intend to turn elements of this vision into a reality: Telecoms firm Vodafone is cooperating with Innogy, the green subsidiary of the energy giant RWE, to convert streetlamps into charging stations and potentially much more. The collaboration, they say, is indicative of how their companies are increasingly combining their core competencies in order to make the green future an imminent reality.

“What you have here is two big infrastructure players coming together to create totally new digital possibilities,” Mr. Ametsreiter told Handelsblatt in a joint interview with Mr. Terium on the sidelines of the Hannover trade fair, which has been running through this week.

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