T-Mobile is the wireless telecoms arm of German giant Deutsche Telekom. It established a broad international presence from 1999 onwards, 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, now 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 now hopes to merge with national rival Sprint at some point in 2020. That will further loosen Deutsche Telekom's ties to the business, although it will remain the largest shareholder. Now refocused almost entirely on Europe, T-Mobile has increasingly been absorbed into the parent group's local operations in each country as a single converged service alongside fixed line and broadband. However, 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 2018, Deutsche Telekom served a total of 178.4m mobile customers globally, including 80m in the US. Its next biggest market by customers is Germany, with 44.2m subscribers. More than 43% are still prepaid, rather than contract, through subsidiary low-cost brands such as Congstar. Next comes Poland with 10.8m customers, Greece - where the mobile business still trades as local brand Cosmote - with 7.9m customers, Austria (7.2m customers) and the Czech Republic (6.2m). There are also operations in Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Slovakia.
Capsule checked 9th December 2019
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Historical profile information for T-Mobile
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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