T Challenge Rules

By applying to or participating in the T Challenge Program, you agree to the following rules (“Rules”). These Rules are solely between, on the one side, Deutsche Telekom AG (“DTAG”) powered by T-Mobile USA, Inc. (“TMUSA”; DTAG and TMUSA jointly referred to as “Telekom”,“we”, “us”, or “our”), and, on the other side, you or, as the case may be, the entity that you represent (“you” or “your team”), including the Team Leader who applies to the T Challenge Program (the “Team Leader”) and any members of the team. The Team Leader is responsible for distributing these rules to all members of the team (in case you apply as a team) before they participate in any work in connection with a proposal for the T Challenge Program. No purchase necessary to enter to win.


Telekom is organizing the T Challenge to open innovation doors and invites you to jointly build a better future through advanced connected life and work. In doing so, Telekom will be supported by its implementation and processing partner Schaltzeit GmbH (“Schaltzeit”). The T Challenge is one step for gradually making this vision a reality.

The T Challenge is a worldwide invitation for individual persons or teams to provide innovative solutions for specific challenge fields. The T Challenge offers multiple opportunities to the participants depending on the status of the submitted and selected ideas. In the first submission phase, participants from all over the world are invited to submit a short outline of their innovative technology and idea to be evaluated by a panel of experts. 

Based on the evaluation within the qualification phase, a maximum of 12 idea proposals will be selected for the next stage (development phase). A maximum of 12 nominees will then present their solutions in a final pitch andwill be invited to an Award Ceremony in Bonn (and/or hybrid event). Schaltzeit will pay out the travelling and accommodation costs (3 nights maximum) of up to 5 persons per team for all nominees for more details s. “Rules on Travelling Expenses”). All winners will receive a cash prize paid out by Telekom.


The T Challenge shall be open to both individuals who apply independently and to teams, units or institutions from all over the world (including universities, R&D units or institutions, and companies from the industry). Employees of the Parties and their affiliated companies, as well as governmental organizations, shall not be allowed to apply for or participate in T Challenges.

By submitting your proposal to the T Challenge Program, you represent that your Team Leader:

  • does not participate in his/her role as an employee of a government entity (other than an accredited academic or research institution);
  • has not been a director, officer, employee, intern or contractor of DTAG and TMUSA or their affiliates within the 12 months preceding application to the T Challenge Program (“Ineligible Personnel”);
  • is not a member of the immediate family or household of Ineligible Personnel.

Participants must at least fulfill the following criteria in the related stream to attend the T Challenge: AI for telecommunication – re-imagine our networks and services: deliver a tangible design, concept, prototype or solution customized to “Telekom” during the “development phase”. 

Submitters must be of full age under the applicable law but at least 18 years of age by the time their submission is filed. As an exception, Telekom is free to allow a submitter who is not of full age and/or less than 18 years of age to participate in the T Challenge, provided that the submitter’s legal guardian/s has/have declared his/her/their consent in writing prior to the filing of submissions by the submitter. The relevant submission deadline for the idea proposals (first phase) closes on January 26, 2024 at 23:59 CEST. The relevant submission deadline for final results closes on May 24, 2024 at 23:59 CEST.


Winning proposals will receive an award that include prize money. Awards are not extendable or transferable without our written consent. The winning proposals receive prize money (each an “Award”) in the following amounts:

  • Top award categories:
    • 1st place: 150,000 €
    • 2nd place: 75,000 €
    • 3rd place: 35,000 €
  • Special award categories:
    • Most engaging presentation 25,000 €
    • Most integration potential: 25,000 €
    • Most visionary solution: 25,000 €

Furthermore, all nominees will be invited to a Pitch & Award Ceremony in Bonn and get the opportunity to meet with high-level executives and decision-makers of Telekom and explore various cooperation opportunities with one of the world’s largest telecommunication companies.

The prize money will be paid out by Telekom within 3 months from the award ceremony. The Team Leaders are responsible for any costs and expenses associated with the receipt of the prize money received from Telekom, including overhead and indirect costs, and for the distribution of potential travelling/accommodation expenses and a potential prize money etc. among its respective team members. You will be required to complete administrative requirements to process any monetary Award, which may include completing a tax questionnaire. If you are unable to complete these requirements in a timely manner, Telekom reserve the right to rescind the Award. Except where prohibited by law, you are responsible for all taxes (including income tax and value-added tax) that may be imposed on you by your local and/or national tax authorities.

Application Content

No proposal to the T Challenge Program shall contain any confidential information and no part shall be marked as ‘confidential’. Telekom does not accept any legal obligation (whether of confidentiality, compensation, return or otherwise) with respect to any proposals. Telekom reserves the right to implement competitive, similar, or identical ideas in the future, without restriction or obligation. You understand and acknowledge that Telekom has wide access to technology, designs, and other materials, and may work on and/or develop projects and ideas that may be competitive with, similar to, or identical to your proposal in theme, idea, format or other respects. You acknowledge and agree that you will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of Telekom’s use of any such similar or identical material that has or may come to Telekom from other sources. 

You represent and warrant that

  • the content of your proposal is either your original work or an update to your original work;
  • you are not aware of any third-party patent rights which are affected by the content of your proposal other than those indicated in the application form submitted to Telekom before the submission deadline mentioned above;
  • the content of your proposal does not infringe, to your knowledge, misappropriate or otherwise violate any other third-party intellectual property rights, patent rights, including any copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, and know-how; and
  • no third party can claim ownership of or rights in the content of your proposal, and your participation in this Telekom Challenge Program will not conflict with your obligations to or the rights or restrictions of any third party, such as your employer, university, or government agency.

Right of Use

You retain the full rights to the submitted ideas and solutions, including the right to file applications for registered intellectual property rights (in particular patents, utility models, and trademarks). In case DTAG and/or TMUSA is/are interested in a submitted protectable idea or solution, you will grant them a license on fair market conditions.

In case DTAG and/or TMUSA is/are interested in filing or acquiring an application for a registered intellectual property right (in particular a patent, utility model, or trademark) regarding a submitted idea or solution, or wish/es to acquire an already existing intellectual property right, DTAG and/or TMUSA will make a corresponding offer to you. If you want to sell any of the aforementioned to a third person or entity, Telekom will have a right of first refusal, i.e. Telekom have the right to buy it at the same conditions for which the third person or entity would buy it, and you have to give written notice of the intended sale to Telekom at least four

(4) weeks before the actual sale. DTAG and TMUSA reserve the right to further develop the submitted ideas and solutions; this shall neither affect the initial idea and solution, nor your intellectual property rights.


You acknowledge and agree that we and our implementation and processing partners (see below) may collect, store, share, and otherwise use personally identifiable information provided during the T Challenge Program application process, including but not limited to, name, mailing address, phone number, and e-mail address. All personally identifiable information collected is subject to, and will be used in accordance with, DTAG’s and TMUSA’ Privacy Notices, including for administering the T Challenge Program and verifying applicant’s identities, addresses, and telephone numbers in the event a proposal is selected. Personal data shall be deleted six months after the award ceremony in Bonn.

Marketing & Publicity

Except where prohibited, you consent to Telekom’s use of your name, likeness, biographical information, and voice in advertising, publicity, trade, and other marketing and promotional materials (including video, audio, and print through all means of distribution) worldwide without compensation, notice or approval in perpetuity across all media now known or later developed, and you disclaim any ownership rights to the content of such materials.

Representations and Warranties

You represent and warrant that:

  • your receipt of any Award is neither prohibited nor inconsistent with any applicable laws, regulations, or binding orders, including applicable ethics rules or internal institutional rules;
  • you have completed or will complete all legal and ethical requirements necessary to accept the Award;
  • your receipt of the Award will not create a conflict of interest for DTAG and TMUSA or their affiliates;
  • you do not participate in, nor have any decision-making authority over, any procurements or purchasing decisions involving DTAG and TMUSA or their affiliates on behalf of your organization; and
  • you will properly book and record the Award in your accounting documents in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

In the event that your representations and warranties under this section are or become inaccurate, you must notify Telekom immediately and any Award you receive will be voidable. The decision on the invalidation of the Award will be at the full discretion of Telekom.

Telekom also reserves the right to limit or abandon the challenge or award a lower number of prizes than described above if in its opinion the challenge´s aims cannot be achieved or can only be achieved inadequately (in particular because of the low number of participants or the low quality of submissions).

Customer Agreement / Limitation of Liability

By submitting your idea via the online tool, you accept the conditions stated in these official rules, agree to be bound by the decisions of Telekom, and warrant that you are eligible to participate in the T Challenge Program. Each team member and the Team Leader hereby releases Telekom from, and waives any and all claims against Telekom for, any losses, liability, and damages of any kind, (including for any loss of data, lost profits, cost of cover or other special, incidental, consequential, indirect, punitive, exemplary or reliance damage) incurred or sustained in connection with or rising out of (1) the T Challenge Program and/or any travelling or other activity related thereto, (2) use of any proposal and/or rights therein, or (3) any breach of any agreement or warranty associated with the T Challenge Program, including these official rules, however caused and regardless of the theory of liability.

Telekom and its partners reserve the right to amend any of these rules at its sole discretion by posting the revised terms on the T Challenge Program website. Your continued participation in the T Challenge Program after the effective date of the revised rules constitutes your acceptance of the amended rules. These T Challenge Rules are governed by the laws of Germany, except the conflict of law rules.

Telekom will use its best efforts to apply only objective criteria (e.g. innovativeness, feasibility and commercial/economic interest of the submitted technical solution, etc.) to award the prizes to the best submissions. Any legal recourse is excluded.

If Telekom is prevented from continuing the T Challenge, or the integrity and/or feasibility of the T- Challenge is undermined by any event including, but not limited to, fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, or any applicable law, order, or regulation, order of any court or jurisdiction, or by other cause not reasonably within Telekom’s control (each a “Force Majeure” event), Telekom shall have the right, in its discretion, to abbreviate, modify, suspend, cancel, or terminate the T Challenge without further obligation. If Telekom, in its sole discretion, elects to abbreviate the T Challenge as a result of a Force Majeure event, Telekom reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to award the prizes from among all valid and eligible entries received up to the time of such Force Majeure event.

Any disagreement or dispute which may arise in connection with these T Challenge Rules which cannot be settled amicably will be brought before the courts of Bonn, Germany.

Organizers The T Challenge is organized by Deutsche Telekom AG powered by T-Mobile USA, Inc. The Program lead is:

Michael Lang
Deutsche Telekom AG
Telekom Innovation Laboratories
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 140
D–53113 Bonn (Germany)
Mail michael.lang03@telekom.de

Craig Schieber
6220 Sprint Pkwy
Overland Park, KS 66251
United States of America
Mail craig.a.schieber@t-mobile.com

The implementation and processing partner is:

Schaltzeit GmbH
John-Schehr-Straße 34
D–10407 Berlin

Schaltzeit is the operator of the landing pages for the T Challenge application platform and the T Challenge voting platform. It is among others also responsible for the transfer of the reimbursement of the travel expenses.

Further information about the T-Challenge can be gained by e-mail inquiry via challenge@telekom.de

T Challenge Rules on Travelling expenses

A.   Processing Partner for Travel Management

Telekom’s processing partner for travel management is Schaltzeit GmbH (“Schaltzeit”). Any booking of plane, ship and train tickets, as well as hotel rooms, may only be done by Schaltzeit (please do not book yourself!).

B.   Travelling Costs Paid by Schaltzeit

Schaltzeit will book/organize for your team (up to 5 persons):

  1. Hotel
    • Accommodations, including breakfast, up to 5 nights, economy standard in a hotel of our choice (one room per person).
  2. Flight/ship/train
    • Flight, ship and/or train to Bonn, Germany (economy class/2nd class) of our choice (depending on economic considerations, availability, etc.).
  3. Private car
    • If you choose to drive your own car, Schaltzeit will reimburse you € 0.30 per kilometre up to total of € 500,-/registered car for the journey to Bonn and back; the respective distance will be calculated through an electronic route planner (e.g. Google Maps). To avoid unnecessary expenses, please try to share the car with as many of your team members as possible. The total reimbursement per registered car can be increased with Schaltzeit’s prior written approval.
  4. Other means of transportation
    • Any other means of transportation (in particular rented cars and taxis) may only be used with Schaltzeit’s prior written approval.
  5. Visa
    • Schaltzeit will not bear the costs for the required German visa(s). Every team member is responsible for the organization of his/her own German visa. At the request of a team member, Schaltzeit will help organizing specific documents which the visa authority requires and which the team member cannot provide himself/herself (in particular invitations to the event).

Any booking that you do on your own without Schaltzeit’s prior written approval will not be reimbursed!

C.   Additional Expenses

  • Breakfast in the hotel and catering in the Telekom Headquarter during the event days are included. Any additional costs for food that you pay on your own will not be reimbursed.
  • Schaltzeit will only reimburse a team member for the cost of an economy class/2nd class ticket of Schaltzeit’s choice. If a team member has a preference regarding the airline, the travelling class, etc., which causes an increase in the travelling costs, such team member must bear the increased costs. Schaltzeit will document the amount to be reimbursed by way of a screenshot.
  • For the transport costs to and from Bonn central train station (or Köln/Bonn Airport) to the Telekom Headquarter (Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 140, 53113 Bonn) and back and for travelling inside and around Bonn, each team member will receive a lump sum in the amount of thirty euros (EUR 30,-).
  • The travel costs will only be reimbursed for the journey from your place of residence or, if you prefer so, from your place of work.
  • Any other expenses will only be reimbursed with Schaltzeit’s prior written approval.
  • Receipts must be provided for all reimbursement requests.

D.   Provision of Personal Data of Travelling Team Members

Each team has to inform Schaltzeit as early as possible but not later than 8 (eight) weeks prior to the award ceremony about:

  • The names and personal details of the travelling team members which are required for the booking of travelling tickets and the application for visas, in particular:
    • date and place of birth,
    • sex,
    • nationality,
    • private address/place of residence,
    • passport/ID card number, and
  • each travelling team member’s place of departure and preferred date and time of arrival and departure.

Since the booking of the hotel rooms etc. will be for the specific team members, the indication of the names will be binding and cannot be changed. If, the travelling expenses for specific travelling member(s) are significantly increased due to any delays in providing the required information required for booking, Schaltzeit may make it subject to the advance payment of the additional costs by the respective travelling member(s).

E.   Valid Passport

Every travelling team member is responsible for being in possession of a passport (or comparable travelling document) that is valid until at least 3 (three) months after the end of the planned departure date. Any expenses caused by the non-compliance with the above provision must be borne by the respective travelling team member.

F.   Further Information

Further information about the T Challenge can be gained by e-mail inquiry via challenge@telekom.de.