Deutsche Telekom is the biggest of Europe's "Big Four" telecoms providers, ahead of Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange. The company dominates the fixed line and broadband sector in its home market of Germany, while aggressive expansion of its wireless subsidiary T-Mobile through acquisition has given the group a commanding position in Central and Eastern Europe as well as a strong presence in the US. However that shopping spree also created a huge mountain of debt. Telekom's share price tumbled in 2002, causing an outcry from ordinary investors as well as the German government, still its controlling shareholder. That led to the departure of the group's executive chairman. His successor attempted to streamline the group to consolidate its worldwide interests and reduce debt, but performance remained disappointing. He too was forced to resign in late 2006. After several years of wrestling with overall performance, the group took the decision to reduce its mobile presence in the UK by joining forces with Orange, and later underwriting the sale of that EE JV to BT, in which it is now a significant minority shareholder. Its US subsidiary is one of that country's four national mobile companies. After years of on-off negotiations, it secured permission in 2020 to merge with rival Sprint. The US is already Telekom's largest individual market by revenues. Group revenues in 2019 were €80.5bn, of which the US contributed a little over half and Germany around 30%. Net profit was €3.9bn. Domestic fixed line and wireless operations now operate under a unified Telekom banner, and the group also owns several smaller challenger brands including pre-paid Congstar. Though it is clear leader in fixed line with 17.8m fixed and 13.7m broadband customers, competition in mobile is intense, with all three main operators on around a third of the market. Telekom was slightly behind rivals Vodafone and O2. The group serves another 46m mobile customers across ten countries in Central & Eastern Europe, mostly under the T-Mobile banner. It also has a controlling minority stake in Greece's leading telecoms supplier, which operates under the OTE and Cosmote brands. Timotheus Hoettges is CEO of Deutsche Telekom.
Capsule checked 2nd March 2020
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Historical profile information for Deutsche Telekom
Adbrands Daily Update 5th Nov 2020: "Unique Together". There's just so much going on in the world at the moment, you'd be forgiven if it slipped your mind that next Monday marks the anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Germans, though, will be celebrating that date, even in the midst of "lockdown light". DDB Hamburg has released a fine and very moving new film for Deutsche Telekom in honour of reunification, and to promote the new iPhone. Better still, it's based on a true story, as told by Stefanie Wally in her book 'Akte Luftballon' (or 'Balloon Files'). In 1977, when she was six, she released a balloon over the wall from West Germany with a letter attached inviting a response from a pen pal. (In truth, the balloon was yellow, not Telekom's house colour of magenta). A few days later she received an answer from Anke Behrendt, a little girl of the same age in the East, and so began a friendship that has lasted 43 years.
Adbrands Daily Update 9th Jan 2020: Hans-Christian Schwingen is stepping down after 12 years as brand and marketing chief at Deutsche Telekom. It's not yet known what his future plans are. However, his successor has already been confirmed as Ulrich Klenke, former CEO of Ogilvy Germany and head of marketing at Deutsche Bahn.
Adbrands Social Media 28th Feb 2019: "Dabei: Be There". It took not one but two agencies to deliver the new domestic branding campaign for German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom - ultimate owners, as our US readers probably already realise, of the T-Mobile brand. House agencies DDB and Serviceplan worked together on the campaign to ensure that it's really not one you could possibly overlook. 'Dabei' literally means "there", but in the sense of "Be There" - or as this campaign entreats - "Let's All Be There Together". In a world where most telecoms companies tend to go for greater subtlety, this In Your Face approach certainly makes you sit up and pay attention.
Adbrands Weekly Update 16th Nov 2017: As had previously been anticipated, Deutsche Telekom's massive pan-European media budget moves from long-time incumbent Mediacom. A significant part of the business transfers to sister agency Mindshare, but with less responsibility than was previously enjoyed by Mediacom. According to Telekom's VP, marketing communications Christian Hahn, "The media business has changed completely. We want to be masters of this development and steer the media strategy much more independently. We can not completely delegate that to an agency." As a result, Mindshare has been confirmed only as the agency for traditional planning and buying. Media strategy will now be handled inhouse at Telekom. Three other contracts - for programmatic buying, media analytics and search marketing - are also up for grabs but the results will not be announced until early next year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Mar 2017: The sale of EE to BT left Deutsche Telekom nursing a €2bn loss for the final quarter of 2016, but overall performance for the year was good. Revenues were up almost 6% to €73.1bn, while operating profit jumped 30% to €9.2bn. However, Telekom took a €2bn charge against the shareholding it received in BT as a result of the EE deal, reflecting the newly discovered problems in the British company's IT services division. That cut Telekom's full year profit to €2.7bn, down almost 18% on the year before. The biggest contributor to growth overall was T-Mobile USA, where a big lift in mobile customers (to over 71.4m by year's end) prompted a 17% increase in revenues. The US now contributes 46% of Deutsche Telekom's revenues, compared to 34% from Germany.
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