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Type Subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom
Founded 1990
Headquarters Germany Bonn, Germany
Key people Hamid Akhavan - Chief Executive Officer
Industry Communications
Products Fixed and Mobile telephony, DSL, Wireless PDAs, Mobile Broadband
Employees over 15,000
Parent Germany Deutsche Telekom
Stakes of T-Mobile International without T-Mobile USA:      100% Share     >50% Share
T-Mobile corporate headquarters, Bonn

T-Mobile is a German mobile telephone provider, owned by Deutsche Telekom (the T stands for Telekom). It operates several GSM networks in Europe and the United States. T-Mobile also has financial stakes in mobile operators in Central and Eastern Europe. Globally, T-Mobile has some 150 million subscribers [1], making it the world's seventh largest mobile phone service provider by subscribers and the third largest multinational after the United Kingdom's Vodafone and Spain's Telefónica.

Based in Germany, T-Mobile is present in ten other European countries, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States.

In late 2005, Deutsche Telekom attempted to acquire rival mobile network operator O2, but was beaten out by Spain's Telefónica[2].

In March 2008, the company announced they planned to acquire Siemens Wireless Modules (now known as Cinterion Wireless Modules) as part of the JOMA consortium. The Siemens Wireless Modules spin off to Cinterion Wireless Modules was concluded on May 1, 2008.



The T-D1 logo and brand used in Germany beginning in the mid-1990s for Telekom's GSM network, known in Germany as the D-Netz.
Initial 1984 logo of the analog C-Netz, the first-generation analog mobile phone system that was the predecessor of DeTeMobil and T-Mobile

In Germany, its home market, T-Mobile is the largest mobile phone operator with almost 36 million subscribers (As of January 2008), closely followed by its primary rival, Vodafone. The highly profitable GSM network in Germany is scheduled to be supplemented and ultimately replaced by UMTS, for which T-Mobile spent EUR 8.2 billion in August 2000 to acquire one of the six licenses for Germany.

On July 1, 1989, West Germany's state-owned postal monopoly, Deutsche Bundespost (DBP) was reorganized, with telecommunications consolidated in a new Deutsche Bundespost Telekom unit; this was renamed Deutsche Telekom in 1995, and began to be privatized in 1996.

The analog first-generation C-Netz ("C Network", marketed as C-Tel) was Germany's first true mobile phone network (the A and B networks, also owned by the post office, had been previous radiotelephone systems), and was introduced in 1985. Following German reunification in 1990, it was extended to the former East Germany.

On July 1, 1992, the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom began to operate Germany's first GSM network, along with the C-Netz, as its DeTeMobil subsidiary. The GSM 900 MHz frequency band was referred to as the "D-Netz", and Telekom named its service D1; the private consortium awarded the second license (formerly Mannesmann, now Vodafone) chose the equally imaginative name D2. In 1996, as Deutsche Telekom began to brand its subsidiaries with the T- prefix, the network was renamed T-D1 and DeTeMobil became T-Mobil; the C-Netz, in the process of being wound down, was not rebranded, and was shut down in 2000. In 2002, as Deutsche Telekom consolidated its international operations, it anglicized the T-Mobil name as T-Mobile, although sometimes also using the name T-D1 within Germany. It is still common for Germans to refer to T-Mobile and Vodafone as D1 and D2.

D1 introduced short message service (SMS) services in 1994 and began a prepaid service, Xtra, in 1997.[3]

The T-Mobile ring tone was composed by Lance Massey.[4]

Global operations


Until 2000 T-Mobile was a shareholder of the former max.mobil. network. In April 2001 it acquired 100 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.


T-Mobile entered the Croatian market in October 1999 when Deutsche Telekom (DT) initially acquired a 35 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 16 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]

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 30 May 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. T-Mobile was the first operator in the Czech Republic to launch this third-generation technology on 19 October 2005 under the name Internet 4G.[citation needed]


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 7 September 2006, Mobimak accepted the international T-Mobile branding. By June 2007, T-Mobile reached 1 million subscribers, out of which 85% were active and using their services. T-Mobile MK covers 98.5% 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 1 August 2007. The current codes are 070/071/072.[citation needed]


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 subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. 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 1 July 2000, as part of Telecom Montenegro. It became an independent incorporated limited liability company a month later, on August 1, 2000. The company currently 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]


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]


T-Mobile owns 93%[6] of Era, which serves over 13 million customers,[citation needed] and owns licenses for GSM 900, 1800, and UMTS, including wireless Internet access through HSDPA technology based on Blueconnect.


T-Mobile entered the Slovak market in May 2005, when it acquired EuroTel Bratislava, and renamed it T-Mobile Slovensko.

The company has the same GSM coverage[7] as Orange Slovensko in Slovakia. A third provider, Telefónica O2 Slovakia, obtained license in October 2006 and launched commercial service in February 2007,[8][9]. T-Mobile launched the country's first 3G network in January 2006 in the centre of the capital city, Bratislava.[10]

United Kingdom

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

T-Mobile UK started life as Mercury One2One, a GSM mobile network operated by the now-defunct Mercury Communications.[11] Later known simply as One 2 One, it was the world's first GSM 1800 network[12] when it was launched in September 1993. In its final days it was operated as a joint venture between Cable and Wireless and American cable provider Mediaone Group, which had a number of investments in Britain dating back to its days as the US West Media Group. One 2 One was purchased by Deutsche Telekom in 1999[13] and rebranded as T-Mobile in 2002.[14]

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. Prior to this T-Mobile had a very successful contract option known as 'Flext' which gave the user an amount of money to use for calls, texts, MMS and mobile internet as necessary. This was withdrawn in early 2010 for reasons which aren't clear - an odd step considering the popularity of the tariff. [15] T-Mobile launched their 3G UMTS services in the Autumn of 2003.

On 12 December 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, with a theoretical maximum speed of 6.5 Mb/s, rising to 7.2 Mb/s over the course of the year, although HSDPA access is restricted to Web'n'Walk Plus customers and above.

On September 8, 2009 France Telecom's Orange and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom announced they were in advanced talks to merge their UK operations to create the largest mobile operator with 37% of the market.[16] The long-term future of either brand is unclear such deal is completed although both brands will be maintained for the first eighteen months at least.[17]

Consumer Focus and the Communications Consumer Panel sent a joint letter to the then Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes in December 2009 asking for the merger to be investigated by authorities in the United Kingdom, rather than Brussels.[18] The British Office of Fair Trading joined this call by asking the EU to allow it to investigate the proposed deal in February 2010, saying that it believed the merger could have a 'significant' effect on competition..[19] On 1 March 2010 the European Commission approved the 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.[20]

T-Mobile's UK is also used as the backbone network behind Virgin Mobile (the worlds first virtual network), for both 2G and 3G signals. Although on a Virgin handset/simcard it will report as saying Virgin and will not find T-Mobile UK on a manual network scan.

In November 2009, T-Mobile UK was the subject of an investigation by the British Information Commissioner's Office following the involvement of some T-Mobile employees in the illegal trade of personal data of millions of customers, in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.[21][22]

Network Outage

On November 17, 2009, as reported by [5], there was a major network outage in East of England, covering as far as Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire & Essex. This was caused by a cut on their fibre cables and had to be repaired by the engineers. This resulted in about 12 hours of network outage.

Personal Data Sold on in Security Breach

On November 17, 2009, T-Mobile admitted that it it faced a consumer backlash as after it was revealed that due to its own lax data security controls an employee had been selling customer data to third party companies. The mobile operator admitted that one of their own employees is facing prosecution after selling personal details of thousands of British customers to rival companies in a major breach of UK data protection laws. UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said the data was sold for “substantial amounts of money” to brokers working for other mobile phone companies. The privacy watchdog said it planned to prosecute and would push for jail terms for anyone convicted. Rival companies bought the information and used it to make cold calls to the customers offering them a new contract with a new network.[21]

United States

T-Mobile USA is the United States based subsidiary of T-Mobile International AG. T-Mobile USA is currently the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. market with approximately 34 million customers as of June 2009 and annual revenue of US$17 billion.[23]

The U.S. T-Mobile network predominately uses the GSM/GPRS/EDGE 1900 MHz frequency-band, making it the second-largest 1900 MHz network in the United States[citation needed], only behind Sprint PCS, which uses CDMA technology. Service is available in 98 of the 100 largest markets and 268 million potential customers (POPS). In September 2008 T-Mobile began rolling out its 3G network (operating on the 1700 MHz band) to service G1 customers in 14 initial cities. T-Mobile's UMTS (3G) service is now active in over 30 major US cities and operates on over 15 new devices.

Just like the spectrum that the majority of Central and South America plan to use[citation needed], T-Mobile USA uses a radio frequency band (1700/2100 MHz)(AWS Band) for its 3G network . The carrier states it allows faster download and upload data speeds utilizing HSPA+ technology, which allows for simultaneous voice and data. Upgrades to HSPA+ are planned for 2009 through 2010 which may boost average download speeds near 7.2Mbps to a blazing 21Mbps[citation needed]. Their HSPA+ footprint should exceed nearly 21Mbps by the end of 2010[citation needed].

Headquartered at 12920 Se 38th St, Bellevue, WA 98006-1350 in Factoria, Bellevue, WA, the U.S. company was previously known as VoiceStream Wireless or Powertel. In July 2001, VoiceStream was acquired by Deutsche Telekom for US$50.7 billion,[24] and in September 2002 changed the company name nationally to T-Mobile.

On September 17, 2007, T-Mobile USA announced the acquisition of SunCom Wireless for US$2.4 billion. The acquisition expanded the network coverage to North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. At the end of the second quarter of 2007, SunCom had more than 1.1 million customers. The deal closed on February 22, 2008.

In August 2009, T-Mobile sent a notice to customers who are on paper billing that starting in September, they would be charged $2 extra for paper billing, and that detailed billing customers would be charged $4 for paper detailed billing. This has been an effort of the company to switch customers over to paperless billing. Less than two weeks later, T-Mobile announced openly that after careful consideration, they would not charge for customers to remain on paper billing.

Major outages

On November 3, 2009, T-Mobile USA subscribers lost the ability to send and receive calls and text messages.[6] T-Mobile confirmed the outage on their Twitter account, saying "All – We’re aware of the current service disruption. Our rapid response teams have been mobilized to restore service as quickly as possible." T-Mobile has stated that 5% of its user base has been affected. T-Mobile blames a software error for the service interruption, stating that, "After investigating the cause, we have determined that a backend system software error had generated abnormal congestion on the network. T-Mobile has since implemented additional measures to help prevent this from happening in the future. We again apologize to those customers who were affected and may have been inconvenienced."[7] The service interruption comes on the heels of an embarrassing loss of data for the carrier's Sidekick users.

Internet hotspots (802.11 WiFi)

In addition to mobile phone service, T-Mobile also operates WiFi hotspots in the United States and Europe. In the USA alone, it operates over 9,000 (as of December 22, 2006) T-Mobile HotSpot locations for Internet access, including such locations as airports, airline clubs, Starbucks coffeehouses (see below), Kinko's, Borders Books and Music, Hyatt, and Red Roof Inn Hotels. The U.S. WiFi infrastructure was completely replaced when T-Mobile bought the Wireless ISP MobileStar. In addition, Sony Computer Entertainment on behalf of T-Mobile introduced a HotSpot Locator and HotSpot Promotional Period (6 months from activation) for the Sony PSP system and Sony Mylo system. Both promotions are separate, and, by combining the total time allotted for each system, users can have up to one year free access, by using six months on the Mylo, and six months on the PlayStation Portable.

Beginning the second quarter of 2008, T-Mobile will no longer be the provider of Wi-Fi access for Starbucks coffeehouses, which ended its 2001 deal, switching to AT&T.[25] However, through a roaming agreement with AT&T, T-Mobile HotSpot subscribers will still be able to use the AT&T Starbucks wireless networks for a limited time. As of November, many T-Mobile subscribers who signed up under the impression they had access at any Starbucks are left in the dark.[26]

Statistics of Deutsche Telekom's GSM networks

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

Mobile operators in which T-Mobile has a substantial stake

Albania AMC1
Bulgaria GLOBUL1
Bosnia and Herzegovina HT d.d. (ERONET)
Greece Cosmote1
Poland Era - over 13 million customers
Romania Cosmote1
  • 1 Deutsche Telekom and Greece each have 25 percent plus one of the shares of parent company OTE.


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 Premier League 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 currently 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-Columbia).

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. [28] It should be noted that many top-flight Mexican matches are televised in the United States, where T-Mobile does have a presence.

See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Telefonica grabs O2 from under T-Mobile's nose
  3. ^ Mobilfunk History
  4. ^ Maxim Magazine 100th issue, April 2006, p166
  5. ^ T-Mobile dringt Vodafone terug
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ Orange Slovensko a.s. (Orange SK) - Interactive Coverage Map
  8. ^ Telefónica O2 Slovakia s.r.o. - Network Information
  9. ^ T-Mobile Slovensko, a.s. (T-Mobile SK) - Interactive Coverage Map
  10. ^ T-Mobile Slovensko, a.s. (T-Mobile SK) - Network Information
  11. ^ "Mercury One-2-One challenges the U.K. cellular competition, Mobile Phone News, Sept 13, 1993 "
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ One 2 One to rebrand as T-Mobile
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ Co-signed letter to European Competition Commissioner in relation to joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile Consumer Focus/Communications Consumer Panel. 21 December 2009
  19. ^ "Orange and T-Mobile deal 'threatens competition'". 3 February 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  20. ^ "Orange and T-Mobile cleared for mobile merger by EU". 1 March 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  21. ^ a b "T-Mobile staff sold personal data". BBC News. 2009-11-17. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  22. ^ "Mobile phone customers’ records are sold illegally". Information Commissioner's Office. 2009-11-17. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  23. ^ Unstrung - T-Mobile USA Reports Q3 - Wireless News Wire
  24. ^ VoiceStream, Deutsche Telekom Seal $50.7B Deal (Reuters)
  25. ^ Wi-Fi Networking News: T-Mobile Loses Starbucks; AT&T Becomes Wi-Fi Hotspot Giant
  26. ^ Starbucks Dumps T-Mobile in Favor of AT&T -
  27. ^ T-Mobile Group Report
  28. ^ [4]

External links

Simple English

T-Mobile is a mobile (cell phone) network operator headquartered in Bonn, Germany. It is a part of Deutsche Telekom and belongs to the FreeMove alliance.

T-Mobile is a group of mobile phone companies (all owned by Deutsche Telekom) that operate GSM and UMTS networks in Europe and the United States. The "T" stands for "Telekom". Most subsidiaries (companies) of Deutsche Telekom have names beginning with "T-" like T-Home and T-Online. T-Mobile also owns parts of mobile operators in Eastern Europe. Globally, T-Mobile has 101 million subscribers, making it the world's sixth largest mobile phone service provider by subscribers and the third largest multinational after the United Kingdom's Vodafone and Spain's Telefonica.

T-Mobile International has a large presence in eleven European countries: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom as well as in the United States.

Deutsche Telekom recently tried to buy rival mobile network operator O2, but it was eventually bought by Spain's Telefonica.

As well as footbal kit sponsors for FC Bayern Munich, Ferencvárosi TC, The Blues City and Borehamwood, T-Mobile is also a sponsor of several sports events, some of which carry the company name. For example, it sponsors its own cycling team, the T-Mobile Team, and the Austrian first division football competition, the T-Mobile Bundesliga. It was also the official global mobile phone carrier for the 2006 FIFA World Cup (football) in Germany.

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