T-Mobile is the wireless telecoms arm of German giant Deutsche Telekom. First established in the domestic market, it established a broad international presence after 1999, acquiring several other significant wireless businesses, including One2One in the UK and Voicestream and PowerTel in the US. Continuing growth had made T-Mobile the biggest revenue centre within Deutsche Telekom by the end of 2005. More recently though it has begun to reduce its exposure in further flung countries - where it had remained one of the smaller players - in order to concentrate on more profitable markets closer to home in Continental Europe. The first such step was an agreement to merge T-Mobile's operations in the UK with those of rival Orange to create EE, then the local market leader by customers. The subsequent acquisition of EE by BT made Deutsche Telekom the biggest shareholder in BT. Still more dramatic was a plan to exit the US in 2011, with the outright sale of the local T-Mobile to AT&T. However that deal was blocked by the US Justice Department and FCC on competition grounds. Instead T-Mobile USA merged in 2013 with smaller rival MetroPCS, creating a locally quoted business now only part-owned by Deutsche Telekom. After months if not years of on-off negotiations, T-Mobile USA secured a green light to merge with national rival Sprint in 2020. Deutsche Telekom remains the largest shareholder. Elsewhere, in Central & Eastern Europe, T-Mobile has increasingly been absorbed into the parent group's local operations in each country as a single converged service bundled alongside fixed line and broadband. In those markets where it had only mobile services, it has broadened its profile through local acquisitions, for example Austrian cable operator UPC and Tele2 Netherlands in 2018. By the end of 2020, Deutsche Telekom served a total of almost 242m mobile customers globally. The US is the biggest market by far at 102m customers. The next biggest is Germany, with 48.5m mobile subscribers. More than 46% are still prepaid, rather than contract, through subsidiary low-cost brands such as Congstar. Next comes Poland with 11.2m customers, Greece - where the mobile business still trades as local brand Cosmote - with 6.9m customers, and the Czech Republic (6.2m). T-Mobile Netherlands had 6.8m mobile customers at the end of 2020, but was sold in 2021. There are also operations in Austria, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Slovakia.
Capsule checked 15th September 2021
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Historical profile information for T-Mobile
Adbrands Daily Update 8th Sep 2021: Deutsche Telekom is to increase its shareholding in T-Mobile USA through a share swap with Japanese investment group Softbank, the former owner of Sprint. Under the new arrangment, Softbank agreed to sell a chunk of its T-Mobile shares to the German group in exchange for new shares in Deutsche Telekom itself and $2.4bn in cash. Telekom will end up with 48% of T-Mobile USA (up from 43%), while Softbank becomes the largest shareholder after the German government in Deutsche Telekom. The two companies also established a strategic partnership to encourage other SoftBank investment companies to take advantage of Deutsche Telekom's customer base in the US and Europe. Telekom is raising the cash portion of the transaction with a deal to sell its market-leading T-Mobile business in the Netherlands to private equity investors Apax and Warburg Pincus for €5.1bn.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Aug 2020: "What We Do Next". That's quite some casting coup. For a new pan-European campaign for Deutsche Telekom and its T-Mobile brand, Saatchi & Saatchi's London office secured the services of the world's most famous 18-year-old. Now Billie Eilish doesn't make many ads so her endorsement of T-Mobile - voiceover and all - is a major victory; one that will boost the brand's standing considerably in the eyes of Generation Z customers. The message too is a worthy one, and will chime strongly with the target audience. Socially involved viewers mioght also recognise cameo appearances by climate activist Eirini Vougiouka, UN youth ambassador Jahkini Bisselink and equal rights activist Fabian Grischka.
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