T-Mobile International AG
Type Private (subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG)
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1990 (1990)
Headquarters Bonn, Germany
Area served Europe, United States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
Key people Alec Smalle, Chief Executive Officer
Products Wireless PDAs
Services Mobile communications, DSL
Employees 36,000
Parent Deutsche Telekom AG
Subsidiaries T-Mobile UK
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Website t-mobile.com

T-Mobile International AG is a German-based holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG's various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany. Based in Bonn, Germany, its subsidiaries operate GSM and UMTS-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The company has financial stakes in mobile operators in both Central and Eastern Europe.

The T-Mobile brand is present in ten European countries – Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom – as well as the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Globally, T-Mobile International subsidiaries have a combined total of approximately 150 million subscribers, making the company the world's twelfth-largest mobile-phone service provider by subscribers and the third-largest multinational after the UK's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica.



Germany's initial mobile-communications services were radiotelephone systems that were owned and operated by the state postal monopoly, Deutsche Bundespost. On July 1, 1989, West Germany reorganized Deutsche Bundespost and consolidated telecommunications into a new unit, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom. Deutsche Bundespost Telekom built and operated Germany's first cellular mobile network, and eventually created the DeTeMobil subsidiary as a holding company for Deutsche Bundespost Telekom's wireless communications assets.

Deutsche Bundespost Telekom was renamed Deutsche Telekom in 1995, and began to be privatized in 1996. That same year, DT began to brand its subsidiaries with the T- prefix, re-naming the DeTeMobil subsidiary T-Mobil.

In 2002, as DT consolidated its international operations, it anglicized the T-Mobil name to T-Mobile.

On April 1, 2010, the T-Home and T-Mobile German operations merged to form a new wholly owned DT subsidiary, Telekom Deutschland GmbH. The T-Mobile brand was discontinued in Germany and replaced with the Telekom brand. The T-Mobile brand is still used in markets outside Germany. Non-German mobile-network assets are organized into various country-specific subsidiaries under the T-Mobile International AG subsidiary of DT.

In 2010, T-Mobile UK became part of a joint venture with France Telecom's UK mobile-network provider, Orange UK. Combined, the two companies make the UK's largest mobile-network operator, called Everything Everywhere. Despite the joint venture, the T-Mobile and Orange brand continue to co-exist in the UK market.

The T-Mobile brand is present in ten European countries – Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom – as well as the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Globally, T-Mobile International subsidiaries have a combined total of approximately 150 million subscribers, making T-Mobile International the world's tenth-largest mobile-phone service provider by subscribers and the third-largest multinational after the UK's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica.[1]

European ventures

European ownership interests of T-Mobile International AG
  100% Share
  >50% Share


Until 2000 T-Mobile was a shareholder of the former max.mobil. network. In April 2001, it acquired one hundred percent and subsequently introduced the T-Mobile brand in Austria by rebranding max.mobil. in April 2002 as T-Mobile Austria.

In 2005, it acquired former competitor tele.ring from Western Wireless International. It is now used as a discount brand. tele.ring is an Austrian mobile network operator. Since it was bought by T-Mobile in 2006, it is no longer a legally independent company. Tele.ring is administratively independent and now acts primarily as a discount-offer, similar to Yesss and BoB of Orange and A1. In the past, tele.ring was known for their aggressive price-politics.


T-Mobile entered the Croatian market in October 1999 when DT initially acquired a thirty-five percent interest in Hrvatski telekom, including its cell phone service provider Cronet. Two years later, DT signed an agreement with the Croatian government to acquire the additional sixteen percent needed for a majority holding. In January 2003, Hrvatski Telekom assembled all of its mobile activities under a single brand HTmobile. Finally, in October 2004, HTmobile became T-Mobile Hrvatska, or T-Mobile Croatia, thus joining the global T-Mobile family also by name.[citation needed] Since January 1, 2010, Hrvatski Telekom and T-Mobile Croatia merged into one company on the Croatian market under the name Hrvatski Telekom (in English: Croatian Telecom); the T-Mobile brand remains active in the mobile-business area and T-Com in the fixed-business area.

Czech Republic

T-Mobile was previously known as Paegas in the Czech Republic.

T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. has been operating in the Czech market since 1996. As of May 30, 2008, 5.273 million customers were using T-Mobile services.

T-Mobile Czech Republic a.s. operates a public mobile communications network on the GSM standard in the 900 and 1800 MHz bands and is also authorized to operate a UMTS network. On October 19, 2005, T-Mobile was the first operator in the Czech Republic to launch this third-generation technology under the name Internet 4G.[citation needed]


Germany's initial mobile communications services were radiotelephone systems that were owned and operated by the state postal monopoly, Deutsche Bundespost. These early mobile communications networks were referred to as the "A" and "B" networks.

C-Netz logo (1984)

Deutsche Bundespost Telekom built Germany's first cellular mobile network, an analog, first-generation system referred to as the "C" network or C-Netz. The network became operational in 1985 and services were marketed under the C-Tel brand. Following German reunification in 1990, the "C" network was extended to the former East Germany.

On July 1, 1992, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom's DeTeMobil subsidiary began operating Germany's first GSM 900 MHz frequency cellular network, which the organization referred to as D-Netz. Digital GSM services were marketed under the "D1" brand and DeTeMobil continued to sell analog cellular services concurrently under the existing C-Tel brand. In 1994, DeTeMobil introduced short message service (SMS) services.

The T-D1 logo.

In 1996, DT began to brand its subsidiaries with the T- prefix, re-naming the DeTeMobil subsidiary T-Mobil and re-branding the GSM cellular network T-D1. C-Netz was re-named to T-C-Tel. The T-C-Tel / C-Netz services were fully discontinued in 2000.

D1 introduced prepaid service called Xtra in 1997.[2]

Despite the numerous changes in subsidiary names and brands, Germans sometimes continue to use theT-D1 name within Germany and refer to T-Mobile as D1.

On April 1, 2010, after the T-Home and T-Mobile German operations merged to form Telekom Deutschland GmbH, a wholly owned DT subsidiary; the T-Mobile brand was discontinued in Germany and replaced with the Telekom brand.

In T-Mobile's home market of Germany, it is the largest mobile-phone operator with almost 16 million subscribers (As of January 2008), closely followed by its primary rival, Vodafone. T-Mobile plans[when?] to add UMTS services to its German network, having spent EUR 8.2 billion in August 2000 to acquire one of the six available licenses.

Beginning September 5, T-Mobile is offering pre-registration for the Apple iPhone 5.[3]

Since 2009, T-Mobile is the premier partner of McDonalds for offering wireless internet access in all German restaurants.[4]


In May 2004, the same day as Hungary joined the European Union, the former company, named Westel (which was owned entirely by the former Matáv) changed its name, and the entire marketing. Westel was the most popular cellphone network in Hungary at the time. The company was called T-Mobile Hungary, but after some financial decisions, as with the other T- companies, it formed to Magyar Telekom Nyrt. Mobil Szolgáltatások Üzletág (Hungarian Telekom, Mobile Services Business Unit), but they still say T-Mobile. T-Mobile also provides high-speed services, like EDGE, 3G, and HSDPA in the major cities of Hungary.[citation needed]


In Macedonia, T-Mobile was previously known as Mobimak. The company has been operating in the Macedonian market since 1996. On September 7, 2006, Mobimak accepted the international T-Mobile branding. By June 2007, T-Mobile reached one million subscribers, out of which eighty-five percent were active and using their services. T-Mobile MK covers ninety-eight percent of the population. It has a GSM 900 license, offers GPRS, MMS and mobile internet services using T-Mobile HotSpots and has implemented the EDGE fast mobile internet specification. T-Mobile Macedonia applied for a UMTS license on August 1, 2007. The codes are 070/071/072.[citation needed]


The T-Mobile brand entered the Montenegrin market in 2006 through the acquisition of MoNet GSM mobile provider. T-Mobile Montenegro (T-Mobile Crna Gora) is fully owned by T-Crnogorski Telekom, which is itself owned by Magyar Telekom, a DT subsidiary. Although the acquisition by Magyar Telekom was done in 2005, it was not until September 26, 2006, that the MoNet GSM operator was re-branded as T-Mobile Montenegro.[citation needed]

MoNet GSM launched on July 1, 2000, as part of Telecom Montenegro. It became an independent incorporated limited-liability company a month later, on August 1, 2000. The company currently[when?] holds around 34 percent of the Montenegrin market and uses GSM 900, GPRS, and EDGE technologies. Since June 21, 2007, 3G/UMTS services have been available in larger cities as well as on the coast.[citation needed]

The Netherlands

T-Mobile entered the Dutch market by the acquisition of Ben on September 20, 2002. T-Mobile Netherlands, a wholly owned subsidiary of T-Mobile International, acquired Orange Netherlands from France Télécom for EUR 1.33 billion. This makes it the second largest mobile telephone operator in the country behind KPN.[5]

Capacity problems

T-Mobile announced in May 2010 that it was dealing with major capacity-problems on its 3G network.[6][7] T-Mobile admitted the problems after a lot of pressure from customers and Dutch media. T-Mobile could not keep up with the growing data demand of smartphones, caused by the amount of new customers that wanted an iPhone, which was at the time sold exclusively by AT&T. T-Mobile failed to keep up with the demand, and capacity problems on the network were the result. T-Mobile denied the problems at first by saying to complaining customers that their mobile phone or SIM-card was causing the problem.[8]

The capacity problems occurred mostly in cities and densely populated areas. When affected, people could experience problems with calling or receiving calls, text messaging (SMS) or data-services. A substantial number of customers were not able to use any of these services in cities or urban areas when the network capacity was overloaded, for instance the cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht were heavily impacted.

After being put under pressure by several consumer interest groups and Dutch media, T-Mobile started a cash-back settlement for all consumers which had complained about failing communication services.

T-Mobile invested tens of millions of euros to upgrade its network. The upgrade was to have been completed by the end of first quarter of 2011.[dated info] Until then, such incoveniences may be experienced in overloaded service areas.[9][10]


T-Mobile (Poland) serves over thirteen million customers,[11] and owns licenses for GSM 900, 1800, and UMTS. Formerly Era, rebranding took place [12] on June 5, 2011. The décor of Era's offices was updated. The rebranding was preceded by a number of concerts, featuring underground dubstep scene artists, such as Caspa & Rusko, and one major world-known music star whose name has not been revealed yet.[13]


The T-Mobile brand entered the Slovak market in May 2005, after rebranding the EuroTel network from Eurotel Bratislava to T-Mobile Slovensko. The company Eurotel Bratislava was partially owned by Slovak Telekom, an incumbent fixed-line operator, which later acquired a one hundred percent stake in Eurotel Bratislava. T-Mobile International and DT never owned T-Mobile Slovensko directly; DT is partially owner of Slovak Telekom and thus T-Mobile International has procurement managing function within T-Mobile Slovensko. On July 1, 2010, Slovak Telekom and T-Mobile Slovensko merged into one company on the Slovak market under the name Slovak Telekom; T-Mobile brand remains active in the mobile-business area and T-Com in the fixed-business area.

The T-Mobile network provides services on three networks GSM (900/1800 MHz), UMTS (2100 MHz), Flash OFDM (450 MHz). Mobile data services are provided on GSM network with EDGE extension and on UMTS with HSPA 7,2 Mbit/s/1,54 Mbit/s. Flash OFDM is one of two commercially successfully launched solely data networks in the world. It supports download speed up to 5.3 MBit/s.

United Kingdom

T-Mobile at Hatfield Business Park.
T-Mobile and Orange shops in Leeds.

T-Mobile UK started life as Mercury One2One, the world's first GSM 1800 mobile network.[14] It was originally operated by the now-defunct Mercury Communications.[15] Later known simply as One 2 One, it was purchased by DT in 1999[16] and rebranded as T-Mobile in 2002.[17]

T-Mobile offers both pay-as-you-go and pay-monthly contract phones. The pay-monthly contracts consists of set amounts of minutes and 'flexible boosters' which allow the customer to change them month to month depending on their needs. T-Mobile launched their 3G UMTS services in the Autumn of 2003.

In late 2007, it was confirmed that a merger of the high-speed 3G and HSDPA networks operated by T-Mobile UK and 3 (UK) was to take place starting January 2008. This will leave T-Mobile and 3 with the largest HSDPA mobile phone network in the country

In 2009, France Telecom's Orange and DT, T-Mobile's parent, announced they were in advanced talks to merge their UK operations to create the largest mobile operator.[18] In March 2010, the European Commission approved this merger on the condition that the combined company sell 25% of the spectrum it owns on the 1800 MHz radio band and amend a network sharing agreement with smaller rival 3.[19] The merger was completed the following month, the new company's name later being announced as "Everything Everywhere". Orange and T-Mobile will continue as separate brands in the market for at least eighteen months,[20] both run by the new parent company.[21]

T-Mobile UK's network is also used as the backbone network behind the Virgin Mobile virtual network.

Ownership stakes

Albania AMC1
Bulgaria GLOBUL1
Bosnia and Herzegovina HT d.d. (ERONET)
Greece — Cosmote1
Romania Cosmote1
  • 1 Deutsche Telekom controls 40 percent plus one of the shares of parent company OTE.

United States venture

A T-Mobile store in San Jose, California

T-Mobile USA, Inc. is the Bellevue, Washington, United States-based subsidiary of T-Mobile International AG. T-Mobile USA is currently[when?] the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the US with 33.73 million customers and annual revenue of US$21.35 billion in 2010.[22] DT accepted a US$39 billion purchase offer from AT&T, Inc. for T-Mobile USA, Inc. The sale is expected to close in 2012 pending regulatory approval.[citation needed] On August 31, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile.[23]

T-Mobile USA, Inc. traces its roots to the 1994 establishment of VoiceStream Wireless PCS as a subsidiary of Western Wireless Corporation. Spun off from parent Western Wireless on May 3, 1999, VoiceStream Wireless Corporation was purchased by DT on May 31, 2001, for US$35 billion and re-named T-Mobile USA, Inc. in July 2002.[24][25][26]

T-Mobile USA owns licenses to operate a 1900 MHz GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) PCS (Personal Communications Service) digital cellular network and a 1700 MHz/2100 MHz UMTS AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) digital cellular network that cover areas of the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. T-Mobile USA provides coverage in areas in which it does not own radio frequency spectrum licenses via roaming agreements with other operators of compatible networks.

In addition to its cellular mobile network, T-Mobile USA operates a nationwide Wi-Fi Internet-access network under the T-Mobile HotSpots brand. The T-Mobile HotSpots network consists of thousands of Wi-Fi access points installed in businesses, hotels and airports throughout the US.

Subscriber statistics

[clarification needed]

  • All T-Mobile networks (including affiliates and minority owned): 148.4 million (as of March 2009)[27]


T-Mobile corporate headquarters, Bonn

Beginning in 2009, T-Mobile embarked upon a progressive marketing campaign with hip commercials featuring, Charles Barkley, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Kym Whitley. Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones has also appeared in television commercials for the company. The inventor of the song is unknown, but is known to have been a member of the PR team for T-Mobile.

The current[when?] five-note T-Mobile audio logo was composed by Lance Massey[28] and was originally part of the song ("Hello Ola" by Clan Chi) used to promote DT's Tour de France bicycle team.

In 2002, an advertisement for UK television for when T-Mobile introduced picture messaging; was aired, which shows the face of a baby be spread around a built-up area as things like billboards, posters, shirts, and on newspapers. The advertisement featuring the Röyksopp song "So Easy", and the song was consequently a #21 hit single in the UK, along with its double a-side partner "Remind Me". The advertisement is believed to have inspired music videos like Where Is the Love? (by The Black Eyed Peas) and Have a Nice Day (by Bon Jovi).[citation needed]


A T-Mobile liveried Ayats Bravo coach used in a World Cup promotion in partnership with UK mobile retailer Phones4u.

T-Mobile was the official sponsor of English Football League Championship side West Bromwich Albion. They also previously sponsored Rotherham United as well as Scottish Premier League clubs Rangers and Celtic.

As well as current kit sponsors for Bayern Munich, Ferencvárosi TC, and West Bromwich Albion, T-Mobile were co-sponsors of Everton with the One2One brand and they also sponsored the 2002 FA Youth Cup Final. T-Mobile were also kit sponsors for English club Birmingham City. The phone company is also involved in sponsoring leagues, such as the Austrian Football Bundesliga, which is named the T-Mobile Bundesliga. It was also the official global mobile phone carrier for the 2006 FIFA World Cup football tournament in Germany and sponsored its own cycling team, the T-Mobile Team (now Team HTC-High Road).

T-Mobile also has banner ads at some matches of Mexico's top league, Primera División de México, despite not having a presence in that country.[29] Presumably, this is an attempt to market to the US's Hispanic and more specifically Mexican community; many top-flight Mexican matches are televised in the US on both English- and Spanish-language networks.

See also


  1. ^ "Deutsche Telekom: Deutsche Telekom Stabilizes Business in the Second Quarter and Confirms Forecast for Full Year 2009". Deutsche Telekom.
  2. ^ T-Mobile.de Mobilfunk History
  3. ^ T-Mobile Germany starts Registration for iPhone 5, netzwelt.de (german)
  4. ^ Telekom powers all McDonald's Hotspots (german)
  5. ^ "T-Mobile dringt Vodafone terug" (in German). ZDNet.
  6. ^ iPhone overload: Dutch T-Mobile issues refund after 3G issues
  7. ^ "Netwerkprobleem T-Mobile door smartphones" (in German).
  8. ^ "Eerder kregen klanten vaak te horen dat de problemen aan hun toestel of simkaart waren te wijten" (in German).
  9. ^ "T-Mobile meldt oplossing voor 3g-problemen" (in German).
  10. ^ "In het eerste half jaar van 2010 investeerde T-Mobile een bedrag van tientallen miljoenen euro’s in de optimalisering en verdere uitbreiding van het netwerk" (in German).
  11. ^ About T-Mobile in Poland
  12. ^ "T-Mobile chce mieć w Polsce telewizję i sieć stacjonarną" (in Polish). rp.pl.
  13. ^ "Zmiana marki Era na T-Mobile uzasadnionym posunięciem" (in Polish). wirtualnemedia.pl.
  14. ^ History ~ GSM World
  15. ^ "Mercury One-2-One Challenges the U.K. Cellular Competition". Mobile Phone News (via FindArticles). September 13, 1993.
  16. ^ "One 2 One Sale Agreed". 1999-08-06. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/413371.stm. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  17. ^ "One 2 One To Rebrand as T-Mobile". brandrepublic.com.
  18. ^ The T-Mobile, Orange Merger: How Will It Affect You? | CHOOSE BROADBAND
  19. ^ "Orange and T-Mobile Cleared for Mobile Merger by EU". BBC News. March 1, 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8243226.stm. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  20. ^ Orange newsroom | Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom Announce Completion of UK Merger
  21. ^ Orange newsroom | Orange and T-Mobile Unveil Joint Venture Name, Team, Vision and Plans
  22. ^ "T-Mobile USA Reports Fourth Quarter 2010 Results" (PDF) (Press release). T-Mobile USA, Inc. 2010-02-25. Archived from the original on 2011-03-11. http://www.webcitation.org/5x5smzSz6. Retrieved 2011-03-11. "Year Ended December 31, 2010 Total revenues 21,347" 
  23. ^ "JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FILES ANTITRUST LAWSUIT TO BLOCK AT&T’S ACQUISITION OF T-MOBILE". Department of Justice. 2011-08-31. Archived from the original on 2011-08-31. http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/press_releases/2011/274615.htm. Retrieved 2011-08-31. "The Department of Justice today filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc." 
  24. ^ "VoiceStream Will Now Be Called T-Mobile". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2002-07-18. Archived from the original on 2011-04-27. http://www.webcitation.org/5yGriTnb2. Retrieved 2011-04-27. "T-Mobile, formerly VoiceStream, made its debut yesterday with television, radio and newspaper advertisements in California and Nevada. Over the next few months, the VoiceStream brand will be completely phased out in other cities in favor of T-Mobile." 
  25. ^ Race, Shayndi; Das, Anupreeta (2011-03-21). "AT&T To Buy Rival in $39 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2011-04-28. http://www.webcitation.org/5yHoyJyxF. Retrieved 2011-04-28. "AT&T Inc. said it was buying T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG for $39 billion in cash and stock, a move that would create the nation's largest wireless carrier..." 
  26. ^ Heberlein, Greg (1999-05-04). "Profit-Taking Pulls Dow Under 11,000". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2011-04-28. http://www.webcitation.org/5yHA57cWs. Retrieved 2011-04-28. "The Western Wireless-VoiceStream Cellular split, effective yesterday..." 
  27. ^ T-Mobile Group Report
  28. ^ Maxim Magazine, 100th issue, April 2006, p160
  29. ^ "PoderPDA – Lista de foros" (in Spanish). poderpda.com.

External links

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