25 years Deutsche Telekom AG
2020 Deutsche Telekom AG celebrated its 25 years anniversary as stock corporation. A journey through a quarter of a century of corporate history.
25 years Deutsche Telekom AG
2020 Deutsche Telekom AG celebrated its 25 years anniversary as stock corporation. A journey through a quarter of a century of corporate history.
New brand strategy with new T logo
February 28, 2022 / Deutsche Telekom is adapting its brand presence to match its “leading digital telco” strategy. This realignment is being supported by a consistent umbrella brand approach and an international brand architecture. As part of its international brand positioning, it is now focusing particularly on participation in digital life, sustainable activities, and societal cohesion. To this end, it is introducing a new, more compact group logo and making the T more the focus of communications.
Partnership for GD Towers
July 13, 2022 / Deutsche Telekom will develop and evolve its radio tower business together with North American investors Digital Bridge and Brookfield in future. The two companies purchase 51 percent of the radio tower portfolio in Germany and Austria at an enterprise value of 17.5 billion euros. The networking equipment, primarily the antennas, remains in Deutsche Telekom’s hands. A long-term agreement also ensures unrestricted operations and further expansion of the mobile network.
Goodbye, phone booths
October 26, 2022 / Demand for public phones has dropped significantly since the launch of mobile telephony. In response, public phone booths have been removed at a steady pace for years now, by mutual agreement with the communities and municipalities. More than 90 percent of the 160,000 public phones across the country had already vanished from the urban landscape by the end of 2022, because no one used them anymore. The remaining phone booths will now be removed by the end of 2025. Only around 3,000 of them will be given a second life – they will be equipped with small cells to improve mobile coverage, particularly in city centers.
Deutsche Telekom tightens its climate targets
April 1, 2021 / The global Deutsche Telekom network is already entirely green thanks to its use of electricity from renewable sources. The Board of Management approved a new time frame for all other climate targets in accordance with Scope 1 to Scope 3 and has moved the target achievement date forward. Carbon neutrality for its own emissions, often referred to as net zero, is to be achieved by 2025 at the latest. The emissions involved from the production stage to operation by the customer are also to be reduced to net zero by 2040 – ten years earlier than originally planned.
3G network (UMTS/HSPA+) deactivated
June 30, 2021 / As announced in September 2020, the 3G network was deactivated on June 30, 2021. Some 20 years ago, 3G mobile communications (UMTS/HSPA+) paved the way for the mobile internet age, but it can no longer keep up with the performance of newer technologies (4G/5G). The 3G frequencies that Deutsche Telekom had been using to date are now dedicated to higher-performance mobile communication standards, giving Deutsche Telekom customers more bandwidths, among other benefits.
Deutsche Telekom increases stake in T-Mobile US through agreement with SoftBank as new shareholder and strategic partner
September 7, 2021 / Deutsche Telekom and the Japanese investment firm SoftBank conclude an agreement through which Deutsche Telekom will increase its stake in T-Mobile US to 48.4 percent in two stages. This represents another step on the way to achieving the company’s declared strategic goal of acquiring a majority stake in T-Mobile US. SoftBank becomes the second largest private shareholder in Deutsche Telekom with 4.5 percent ownership. The two companies also enter into a strategic partnership for commercial and technological cooperation.
Sale of T-Mobile Netherlands
September 7, 2021 / Deutsche Telekom and Tele2 sell T-Mobile Netherlands to a consortium of Apax and Warburg Pincus for 5.1 billion euros. The transaction marks the completion of Deutsche Telekom’s strategic review for its Dutch subsidiary, which was announced at the May 2021 Capital Markets Day. Deutsche Telekom will use some proceeds from the sale to purchase additional shares in T-Mobile US.
World premiere of Beethoven’s 10th Symphony completed with artificial intelligence
October 9, 2021 / In the spring of 2019, Deutsche Telekom formed a team of international music and AI experts to complete Ludwig van Beethoven’s unfinished 10th Symphony with the help of AI, on the occasion of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. In March 2020, it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic would delay the premiere, which was planned for the Beethoven year- In the summer of 2021, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, conducted by Dirk Kaftan, recorded the symphony for publication. The long wait finally comes to an end on October 9, 2021: the completed 10th Symphony celebrates its world premiere in Bonn.
Deutsche Telekom accelerates fiber-optic build-out
November 5, 2021 / Deutsche Telekom is accelerating its fiber-optic build-out on the German market. The company enters a long-term partnership with the Australian IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, which is taking a 50-percent stake in the development company GlasfaserPlus. The resulting joint venture plans to install four million additional gigabit-capable FTTH (fiber to the home) lines from 2022 to 2028, in rural and development areas. With this step, Deutsche Telekom is confirming its claim of being the leading company for the fiber-optic build-out in Germany.
“We care for our Planet”: climate protection becomes part of corporate strategy
In early 2020, Deutsche Telekom extends its corporate strategy with the addition “Act Responsibly”: the social and ecological consequences of all business decisions will be considered from the start. One example: Deutsche Telekom’s customers have been surfing on the company’s “green network” since January 1, 2020: 100 percent of the electricity used by the Group in Germany comes from renewable sources – and by the entire Group since 2021. To achieve these goals, we are implementing a large number of different measures as part of our Group-wide “We care for our Planet” program. Deutsche Telekom has been actively committed to protecting the climate and conserving resources since the 1990s.
Consumer lines fully converted to IP
March 4, 2020 is a special day: a key milestone in the IP (Internet Protocol) migration is reached! 25 million consumers are now surfing the fastest network; all other lines will be converted by the end of the year. This represents a major accomplishment. Customers benefit from large bandwidths, while the simplified network infrastructure based on BNG (Broadband Network Gateway) makes Deutsche Telekom's network even faster, greener, and more secure.
Launch of the new T-Mobile US
On April 1, 2020, Deutsche Telekom launches the new T-Mobile US – a historic day for Deutsche Telekom. T-Mobile US Inc., Deutsche Telekom’s American subsidiary, completes its business combination with former competitor Sprint Corp. after nearly two years of work. With 140 million mobile customers and a market capitalization of more than 100 billion dollars at the time of the merger, T-Mobile US can continue its successful Un-carrier strategy and accelerate the 5G network upgrade. Deutsche Telekom is now strong on both sides of the Atlantic.
Launch of the Corona-Warn-App
The Corona-Warn-App by Germany’s Robert Koch Institute is launched on June 16, 2020. In just 50 days, Deutsche Telekom and its subsidiary T-Systems developed this app on behalf of the German government, together with SAP. The app is available free of charge to all residents of Germany. With millions of downloads, it is one of the most successful coronavirus tracing apps in the world. The Corona-Warn-App is regularly updated and improved. It is an important tool in fighting the pandemic.
Deutsche Telekom holds virtual shareholders’ meeting for the first time
Premiere: On June 19, 2020, Deutsche Telekom’s shareholders’ meeting is held virtually for the first time, due to the coronavirus pandemic. A legal amendment was required to enable this at all. At the virtual shareholders’ meeting, without an audience but with an Internet dialog, Deutsche Telekom celebrates 25 years of company history, declares its targets for the future, and resolves to pay a dividend of 60 euro cents. The shareholders follow the event on a web portal.
On March 1, 2019, Deutsche Telekom launches a campaign aimed at promoting participation in the modern digital world. Its central message is #TAKEPART. The idea behind the campaign is that everyone should have access to the many opportunities afforded by digitalization; nobody should be left behind or excluded. According to the latest D21 digital index, some 13 million Germans are not really participating in the digital world. They feel overwhelmed, and even completely left out, by the ever-increasing digitalization around them. Deutsche Telekom sees it as its responsibility to give everyone the opportunity to have a stake in our increasingly "smart" society. Through its networks, and extensive investments, the company is already doing much to help people profit from the opportunities inherent in digitalization.
The 5G auction is expensive
At the 5G auction on June 12, 2019, Deutsche Telekom purchases 2.17 billion euros worth of spectrum. The company secures four frequency blocks in the 2 gigahertz band and nine frequency packages in the 3.6 gigahertz band. "We received exactly the spectrum that we wanted," reports Dirk Wössner, Managing Director of Telekom Deutschland. "The auction was long, but now we know what's what. And now we're going to build a first-class 5G network for Germany!"
Cooperation agreement with the Stuttgart region
In May 2019, the "Gigabit Region" Stuttgart signs a cooperation agreement with Deutsche Telekom. The agreement is aimed especially at expansion of broadband internet service. It also calls for the closure of gaps in mobile-network coverage. Within just a few months, Deutsche Telekom lays 500 kilometers of fiber-optic cable in the region and, in the process, digs 200 kilometers of microtrenches. The effort provides fiber-optic lines for 20,000 households and businesses. An additional 80,000 fiber-optic lines are to be connected in 2020. In addition, Deutsche Telekom commissions 16 new cellular base stations and upgrades 128 existing stations.
Activities in Austria under the Magenta umbrella
In May 2019, T-Mobile Austria and UPC Austria become "Magenta Telekom." With this move, the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary consolidates its products and services under the "Magenta" sales brand. The company's corporate brand continues to be the internationally known "T" logo. By bundling its mobile and fixed-network products, Magenta Telekom in Austria applies the portfolio strategy of its parent company.
Deutsche Telekom hunts down dead zones
As it expands its mobile network, Deutsche Telekom tries some new approaches, in cooperation with municipalities. For example, in August 2019 it launches a "We hunt down dead zones" campaign, aimed at eliminating 50 dead spots (with no mobile network coverage) in Germany. Normally, the company chooses the sites for its new cellular base stations. As a result, some municipalities keep missing out on coverage. This is where "We hunt down dead zones" comes in. In the campaign, cities and communities apply for cellular base stations, and they support Deutsche Telekom in the relevant planning, approval and installation processes. The company received a total of 624 applications for the program by the application deadline.
US authorities approve the merger with Sprint
The U.S. Department of Justice – the competent antitrust authority in the U.S. – and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC; the country's regulatory authority for communications) have given a green light, subject to certain conditions, for the merger between T-Mobile US and Sprint. The federal approvals required for the merger have thus been provided. Hearings on a multistate lawsuit filed against the deal begin on December 9, 2019 before a U.S. District Court in New York.
Deutsche Telekom secures TV rights for the 2024 UEFA European Soccer Championship in Germany
Deutsche Telekom has acquired the media rights for the 2024 UEFA European Soccer Championship in Germany. The relevant agreement covers the exclusive exploitation rights for all 51 matches. In addition, Deutsche Telekom is reviewing the possibility of sublicensing rights to a free-TV partner. In any case, broadcasts of the matches of the German national team, the semifinal matches and the final will all be available to viewers free of charge.
Magenta Mobil XL offers unlimited web surfing
Deutsche Telekom expands its wireless-rates portfolio by adding a plan, for the German market, with an unlimited data allowance. With this move, the company responds to a growing customer demand for higher data allowances and worry-free mobile internet use. The new plan is unparalleled in Germany at this time.
T-Mobile US and Sprint seek to merge
In April 2018, T-Mobile US announces plans for a merger with the mobile network operator Sprint. Following such a merger, the new, larger T-Mobile US would have about 127 million customers and generate revenue of some 76 billion U.S. dollars, based on the expected figures for 2018. It would then be looking eye-to-eye with its two leading competitors in the U.S., AT&T and Verizon. The reasons for the merger include the opportunity to offer customers lower prices. In addition, a larger T-Mobile would be able to roll out 5G technology more quickly and effectively than either the current T-Mobile US or Sprint could on its own. T-Mobile US plans to continue focusing on convergence products combining fixed and mobile services. Significantly, Deutsche Telekom is already enjoying success with such products in Europe.
A 5G data link is installed in Berlin
On May 3, 2018, Deutsche Telekom lays the foundation for the rollout of 5G in Germany. As of that date, a total of six 5G antennas are now transmitting in the center of Berlin, under real-world conditions. The antennas, of which three are located along Leipziger Straße and three are in place along Winterfeldtstraße, are in full compliance with the future 5G standard for the 5G New Radio (5G NR) air interface. With such equipment, Deutsche Telekom has successfully demonstrated Europe's first 5G data links within a live network. The Group is currently building an entire 5G cluster, with more than 70 antennas, in central Berlin, covering the districts Mitte through Schöneberg.
Digital initiative presents new approach to customer events
DIGITAL X is Europe's largest cross-industry digitalization initiative. More than 200 German and international partners are participating in it. Launched in 2018, DIGITAL X has taken the place of Deutsche Telekom's conventional-style customer events and its CeBIT presences. In the spring of 2019, DIGITAL X toured through six German regions. Its grand finale took place on October 29 and 30, 2019, in Cologne. The concept for DIGITAL X: networking, exchanging insights and learning from one another in the spirit of digital progress.
TEX: Regional teams of experts, in customer service
In 2018, the first Telekom Expert Team (TEX) begins its work, in Hanover. In the TEX approach, TEX teams take responsibility for all customer concerns in their regions. When a TEX team receives concerns from outside of its region, it routes them to the appropriate TEX team, which then takes responsibility for addressing them. Teams are equipped with the skills and authority they require. Additional teams will get underway in 2019, in Ludwigshafen, Erfurt and Dortmund.
DT has laid 500,000 km of fiber-optic cable
In 2018, the company lays its 500,000th kilometer of fiber-optic cable. And Deutsche Telekom's fiber-optic network continues to be the largest in Germany.
Public-cloud partnership with Microsoft
T-Systems and Microsoft enter into a strategic partnership aimed at advancing public cloud services in four areas: SAP applications; Managed Services for Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365; digital solutions involving artificial intelligence (AI) and mixed reality; and the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is the first focus of the collaboration. Using Azure as a cloud platform, T-Systems is developing and operating the platform "Cloud of Things – built on Microsoft Azure." The relevant solutions include pre-configured "out-of-the-box" IoT services such as remote monitoring for logistics, after-sales solutions for the automotive sector, and track & trace solutions.
StreamOn – Streaming music and videos to your heart's content
On April 19, 2017, Deutsche Telekom begins offering StreamOn as an additional option. With the StreamOn option, mobile subscribers can stream music and videos without using up any of the data allowance that comes with their cell phone plan. StreamOn adds an additional dimension to plans with unlimited mobile internet use. Also, at the Rock am Ring music festival, Deutsche Telekom presents its new MagentaMusik 360 music service. With the new service, users can stream concerts live, and enjoy 360° panoramic viewing. It's almost as good as being there in person!
Deutsche Telekom lays 40,000 km of fiber-optic cable
In 2017, Deutsche Telekom lays 40,000 km of fiber-optic cable. That provides the basis for activating 2.8 million fiber-optic lines. The company will soon connect 100 industrial parks to the fast network. And it plans to connect a total of 3,000 industrial parks over the next five years.
The Internet of Things finds parking spots
Deutsche Telekom is leading the way in the "Internet of Things." For example, it is using narrowband wireless technology (NarrowBand IoT) to equip its network to accommodate sensors that can do such things as identify free parking spaces or check the fill levels in trash cans. Installation of the new systems begins in early 2017 in Germany and the Netherlands. It will then continue in Greece, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Mergers and acquisitions
In December 2017, Tele2 NL and T-Mobile NL agree to merge. The EU Commission approves the planned merger on November 27, 2018. Also in December 2017, T-Mobile Austria announces plans to acquire the company UPC Austria. That acquisition is then concluded in August 2018. As a result, Deutsche Telekom is now also present in Austria with an integrated product portfolio covering internet, cable TV, and fixed and mobile services.
Testing of the first 5G antennas
As of October 12, 2017, Deutsche Telekom's network has four 5G radio cells. The pertinent antennas, located in Berlin, are the first 5G antennas in Europe to be transmitting live, in a real-world environment, with the new high-speed technology. Using a pre-standard for 5G New Radio (5G NR), the network, located in Berlin's Schöneberg district, achieves record-setting transmission rates of two gigabits per second, on a single device, and a latency of three milliseconds. The key advantages of the new 5G wireless standard include extremely high bandwidths and ultra-short response times.
The Open Telekom Cloud starts operations
Deutsche Telekom launches the Open Telekom Cloud. The Open Telekom Cloud combines flexibly available IT resources with service and rigorous German data protection standards. With the Open Telekom Cloud, Deutsche Telekom is entering a market segment that up to now has been dominated by its U.S. competitors.
MagentaONE is now available throughout Europe
Telekom Deutschland introduced MagentaEINS at the 2014 IFA exhibition. Within less than two years, the concept behind the convergence-based services has been adopted throughout the Group's European operations under the name of MagentaONE. Consolidated communications and entertainment services are now available to consumers, from one source, in all seven of the integrated markets involved. Deutsche Telekom's subsidiaries in Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro and – now – Croatia have all adopted the relevant consolidated-portfolio concept. This is an international marketing concept that is adapted in each case to local market circumstances and requirements.
Sea Hero Quest – Gaming for science
In May 2016, Deutsche Telekom launched the mobile game Sea Hero Quest, with the aim of supporting basic research on dementia. The game was developed in cooperation with scientists and gamers. Each Sea Hero Quest game is a voyage of discovery in which the player steers a ship through a variety of landscapes. From data on how players, using maps, navigate through the virtual worlds they encounter, researchers gain insights into human orientation behavior. The data collected from players' use of the game is fully anonymous. Researchers analyze it carefully for clues that they can apply to development of tools for early detection of dementia.
Loyal shareholders – High investments
A large group of shareholders, representing holdings totaling 41 percent of the company's dividend-bearing shares, agree to Deutsche Telekom's suggestion that they opt to receive shares instead of a cash dividend, for the 2015 fiscal year. As a result, the funds that would have gone to their dividend payments remain in the Group. In 2016, Deutsche Telekom acts on the resulting opportunity by investing some 11 billion euros in top-quality networks and products – in Germany, Europe and the U.S.
17 goals for sustainable development
In September 2015, the UN adopts 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the first such goals to take into account all three dimensions of sustainability, i.e. its social, environmental and economic dimensions. The goals are aimed at facilitating economic development and prosperity worldwide – in line with principles of social justice and with the ecological limits of growth. In its annual reports, Deutsche Telekom begins calling attention to the ways in which its products, services and activities contribute to efforts to achieve the goals. It does this by marking the pertinent sections with the appropriate SDG symbols.
The Europe network gets ready to launch
Deutsche Telekom is planning to link ten European countries within a future Europe network, and now it has linked a first group of three of those ten countries. As of March 2, 2015, customers in Croatia, Hungary, and Slovakia can buy products over a standardized platform. Deutsche Telekom is the first multinational telecommunications company to be able to exploit synergies in this manner. The first network product is a business customer service for virtual private networks, "Cloud VPN." TV services and video-game offerings for consumers will follow. Deutsche Telekom plans to invest about six billion euros in this transformative interconnection through 2018.
The "We connect people in Europe" campaign
In 2015, Deutsche Telekom supports the establishment of its pan-European network by running a "We connect people in Europe" advertising campaign in twelve European countries. A 45-second "We connect people in Europe" commercial is launched on high-reach TV networks, and large-format advertisements are run in newspapers and magazines.
The intermediate status of the fiber-optic expansion and of LTE coverage
Deutsche Telekom's coverage with fiber-optic-based accesses is now reaching 55 percent of all German households. The company's Local Business Units (LBUs) in other European countries are also rapidly expanding fiber-optic coverage. In addition, 90 percent of the German population now have access to the LTE network.
"Future Work" as a new work model
Deutsche Telekom is redesigning its workplaces in keeping with the "Future Work" concept. With this new approach, Deutsche Telekom plans to emphasize virtual collaboration and de-emphasize the need for employees to be physically present. In addition, it plans to apply a principle of "trust is more important than control," and "my office" will increasingly give way to "our work environment." Last but not least, the company will make it easier for employees to achieve a favorable work-life balance.
Change of CEO: Obermann hands off to Höttges
With effect as of December 31, 2013, René Obermann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG, leaves the company at his own request. After 16 years with Deutsche Telekom, including seven years at the helm of the company, he hands over the company's reins to Chief Financial Officer Timotheus Höttges. Höttges came to the company in 2000, in a capacity as Chief Financial Officer of the company's mobile-network subsidiary in Germany. In 2004, he became head of sales and service for Deutsche Telekom's European-wide mobile-network business. In 2006, he was appointed to the Group's Board of Management, with responsibility for the company's German fixed-network business, and in 2009 he was appointed Chief Financial Officer for the Group.
The IP migration is in full swing
Many European countries are larger than Macedonia, but Macedonia becomes the first European country to migrate its fixed network completely to IP technology (All-IP). By the end of the year, Slovakia also makes the switch to All-IP. In All-IP networks, services such as Voice over IP, IPTV, online games, data transfer and multimedia messaging all take place over the internet, meaning they can be accessed at any time and at any location. A migration to IP is also in full swing in Germany. At peak times, up to 60,000 lines are being switched over per week.
A new super-cloud data center opens near Magdeburg
On July 3, Deutsche Telekom opens a high-performance data center in Biere, in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. Thanks to its improved energy efficiency, it uses 30 percent less energy – and has correspondingly lower CO2 emissions – than more-conventional, comparable data centers. Biere and its partner data center in Magdeburg form a "twin core" arrangement – the two data centers are interconnected to form one virtual data center, a configuration that enhances operational reliability and maximizes security. Standardized cloud platforms require less space and less equipment than non-standardized platforms do, and yet they provide significantly higher IT performance.
MagentaEINS provides everything from one source
On September 5, at the IFA exhibition in Berlin, Telekom Deutschland CEO Niek Jan van Damme presents Germany's first integrated range of services for consumers: MagentaEINS, which combines fixed and mobile services within single packages. Deutsche Telekom customers can now choose plans from a modular system built around a "Small (S), Medium (M), and Large (L)" concept. The "S" package, which costs less than 50 euros, includes a flat rate for mobile and fixed telephony, a flat rate for text messaging, and a high-speed fixed-network access. In addition, mobile internet access is always provided at the maximum speed available in Deutsche Telekom's high-speed LTE network.
T-Mobile USA – the successful "Un-carrier" strategy
On March 26, 2013, the new CEO of T-Mobile USA, John Legere, announces a new strategy: the company will offer the "Simple Choice" plan, which is contract-free and features radically simplified rates. The strategy is part of T-Mobile's "Un-carrier" marketing campaign. The company continues to build on this strategy, which is spectacularly successful and has remained so to the present day. For example, in the year 2013 alone, T-Mobile US adds 4.4 million new customers (customer base at the end of 2012: 33.4 million). Since then, T-Mobile US has added over a million new customers per quarter over a period of 28 successive quarters, and its customer base now numbers over 84 million. With this growth, T-Mobile US is the fastest growing mobile-network operator in the U.S.
The first communities with vectoring technology
Customers in the communities of Albstadt-Ebingen, Bad Nenndorf, Hennigsdorf, Hosenfeld, Kalbach, Kevelaer, Löhne, Lübbecke, Neuhof-Hauswurz, and Prenzlau can now book accesses with Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL) technology. In those communities, Deutsche Telekom has installed nearly 500 street cabinets and laid nearly 300 kilometers of fiber-optic cable. Initially, the new accesses will provide bandwidth of up to 50 Mbps. As of the second half of 2014, the bandwidth will increase markedly via vectoring technology. Vectoring technology greatly increases the bandwidth capacity of existing copper wires.
Rights of return, for part-time employees
Deutsche Telekom becomes one of the first German companies to grant rights of return to employees who sign new part-time contracts. As of January 2014, such "guaranteed rights of return" allow part-time employees to terminate existing part-time employment arrangements early, in order to return to their original contingent of weekly working hours.
First group of subscribers is connected to the new fiber-optic network
In a total of twelve cities in which it is expanding its fiber-optic network, Deutsche Telekom is now connecting subscribers to that network. The new access technology supports download bandwidths of up to 200 Mbps and upload bandwidths of up to 100 Mbps. 3D and HD TV and video transmissions, including transmissions within the "Entertain" service, profit from the network's high transmission speeds.
Deutsche Telekom Security lures cyber-attackers with "honeypots"
The "honeypots" – specially prepared traps – are out, and many online attackers land in them. Deutsche Telekom registers up to 400,000 attacks per day. From the attacks, it gains findings that help it enhance the security of its systems. The honeypots are just one of many measures through which Deutsche Telekom keeps a constant and watchful eye on the increasing dangers lurking in cyberspace. No company can take sole responsibility for security on the internet, however. This is why Deutsche Telekom places priority on security-oriented collaboration. In 2012, it sponsors the German industry sector's first cybersecurity summit.
Merger between T-Mobile USA and Metro PCS
In the interest of its continued growth, Deutsche Telekom seeks to merge T-Mobile USA with the mobile network operator MetroPCS. The merger goes through on May 1, 2013. The combined company resulting from the merger, in which Deutsche Telekom holds a majority stake, goes public on the New York Stock Exchange (and later switches to the NASDAQ stock exchange).
The U.S.' antitrust authority prohibits AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile USA
Deutsche Telekom agrees to sell T-Mobile USA to AT&T for 39 billion dollars. In return, Deutsche Telekom would receive a stake of up to 8 percent in AT&T, the leading American telecommunications company. By December 2011, both the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission have indicated they oppose the planned sale. Following the failure of the merger, Deutsche Telekom receives a record cancellation-related cash payment of 3 billion U.S. dollars and an extensive package of access to Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) wireless spectrum held by AT&T.
René Obermann brings two women into the Board of Management
Telekom CEO René Obermann publicly introduces Claudia Nemat and Marion Schick as new Board of Management members. Claudia Nemat assumes responsibility for the Board of Management department for Europe, with immediate effect, while Marion Schick succeeds Thomas Sattelberger as the company's Board Member for Human Resources, with effect as of May 2012.
PTC becomes T-Mobile Polska
On June 5, 2011, the Polish mobile network operator PTC is renamed "T-Mobile Polska." Over 1,000 PTC shops are remodeled in keeping with the T-Mobile brand presence. All in all, the global "T-Mobile" brand's arrival in the Polish market both leads to changes in PTC's name and image and to a new product and services portfolio for the company.
Deutsche Telekom merges its networks
Deutsche Telekom continues to focus on the growing area of mobile internet access. The Group's new "telco plus" strategy aims at merging its mobile and fixed networks and at offering new online services. With its "Travel & Surf" data roaming service, Deutsche Telekom offers internet access from as little as EUR 1.95 per day in all European Union countries. In addition, Deutsche Telekom customers enjoy a flat rate for data roaming when they travel within the EU.
Fiber-optic network expansion launched at CeBIT
At the 2011 CeBIT exhibition, Deutsche Telekom launches a major expansion of its fiber-optic network. Under the program, up to 160,000 households, in ten German cities, are to receive fiber-optic connections in 2011. Super-fast fiber-optic lines will be installed in selected districts of the cities of Brunswick, Brühl, Hanover, Hennigsdorf, Neu-Isenburg, Kornwestheim, Mettmann, Offenburg, Potsdam, and Rastatt. With the effort, Deutsche Telekom is promoting a fiber to the home (FTTH) approach, in which fiber-optic connections extend into subscribers' homes. Modern networks inside buildings are a prerequisite for this expansion. To reach their full potential bandwidth, fiber-optic connections need to be linked with such state-of-the-art networks.
Deutsche Telekom wants to add more female managers
Deutsche Telekom is the first DAX-30 company to establish a women's quota for its management workforce. Under the quota, 30 percent of the company's mid- and upper-level management positions worldwide are to be staffed by women. Deutsche Telekom expects the quota to broaden its talent pool and increase its diversity at the management level. And it expects these effects to ultimately boost its value creation. Studies confirm that companies with a higher percentage of women achieve significantly better results and greater profitability. In addition, investors and funds are placing increasing value on sustainability-oriented management policies, and gender equality is such a policy.
One Company consolidates fixed and mobile services
The Group's fixed and mobile services are consolidated under new management. On April 1, 2010, the new consolidated "One Company" is launched with the name Telekom Deutschland GmbH. Its business aim is to offer products and services from one source, to both consumers and business customers. Its operative segment comprises all of Deutsche Telekom's fixed-network and mobile-communications activities in Germany.
Launch of the new LTE standard
In the largest German frequency auction, Deutsche Telekom secures a total of 95 MHz of spectrum. With this resource in hand, the company now plans to move forward with mobile network expansion and provide customers with even better broadband coverage. With its spectrum acquisition, and related network expansion, Deutsche Telekom is preparing for the introduction of the LTE (Long Term Evolution) mobile-communications standard, which will enable it to offer bandwidth greater than 100 Mbps. The first LTE base stations will be installed at Kyritz and Ziesar, in the state of Brandenburg. An additional 1,000 base stations are to follow.
"Telekom Hilft" Facebook fan page is launched
In response to the popularity of the Twitter account "Telekom Hilft" ("Deutsche Telekom can help"), the company's internet sales and service area, and its customer service's competence center, expand their presence on another social media channel: Facebook. A 12-member team based in Kiel offers Facebook users fast, straightforward assistance and all kinds of useful tips and tricks.
DT acquires a stake in the Polish company PTC
Deutsche Telekom reaches an agreement with the French company Vivendi, the Polish company Elektrim and Elektrim's creditors. The agreement gives Deutsche Telekom sole, complete and undisputed ownership of the Polish mobile communications company Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC).
The separation between fixed-network and mobile-network services is eliminated
Once again, Deutsche Telekom restructures itself. The organizational separation between fixed-network and mobile-network services is eliminated, and the company's product development, IT and technology areas are consolidated on a Europe-wide basis. At an extraordinary shareholders' meeting held in November 2009, shareholders approve the restructuring, including the related consolidation of fixed-network and mobile-network business in Germany.
Highlights of the CeBIT and IFA exhibitions
At CeBIT, Deutsche Telekom presents an innovative, integrated product portfolio for connected life and work. The portfolio emphasizes universal access to applications, to content and to personal, social networks – via any device or access network. Personal contacts, communications services, photos, videos and music can all be used, managed and shared, simultaneously and conveniently, via PCs, cell phones and TV sets. At the IFA exhibition, Deutsche Telekom presents its new Media Center. The Media Center enables customers to save images, addresses and emails online, and to access them via a cell phone, the "Entertain" IPTV service, or a PC.
Viewers love Entertain and LIGA total!
Entertain, Deutsche Telekom's internet-based TV service, has generated more than one million paying subscribers. Its success is partly due to the success of the LIGA total! service, which Deutsche Telekom has been offering since the summer of 2009. LIGA total! subscribers receive full access to TV coverage of soccer matches of Germany's first- and second-division Bundesliga soccer matches. And broadcasts are available for both home (in HDTV) and mobile (cell phone) viewing.
DT acquires a stake in the Greek company OTE
In May 2008, Deutsche Telekom successfully concludes negotiations, with a group of private investors and the Greek government, regarding an investment in the Greek telecommunications company OTE. Under the agreement, Deutsche Telekom acquires a 25 percent stake in OTE plus one vote. In the following years, through the end of 2018, the company expands its stake to 45 percent.
Fraudulent use of connection data
On May 14, 2008, Deutsche Telekom files a complaint, and involves the public prosecutor's office, regarding incidents of fraudulent use of connection data that are reported to have occurred in 2005 and 2006. The allegations do not relate to any unlawful use of the content of calls, meaning they do not concern eavesdropping on calls. The connection data involved is data on subscribers, on the times at which calls were made and on call durations. In the summer of 2007, the company had investigated, and successfully resolved, an individual case after having received tip-offs from within the company. The findings from that internal investigation lead to far-reaching staffing and organizational changes. The company is working to enhance transparency, through a range of measures. The efforts include a 10-point program; the introduction of public data privacy reports; and the consolidation, within a separate Board of Management department headed by Manfred Balz, of all of the Group's future efforts to improve data protection.
A new brand slogan: "Life is for sharing"
Deutsche Telekom receives a new, standardized brand slogan. The idea behind the new brand slogan is that life is made up of a multitude of big and small personal experiences that people like to share with one another. With top-quality communications and support services, Deutsche Telekom aims to facilitate its customers' access to such experiences – including access via telephone, the internet and IPTV, and including both home and mobile access. A special TV commercial with the English tenor Paul Potts generates great publicity for the campaign.
DT moves forward with broadband expansion
Deutsche Telekom is aiming to bring high-speed internet access to all parts of Germany. Since 2007, the company has provided 600 million euros for this effort – including 200 million euros for development of service for rural areas. And the new VDSL fiber-optic network will be available in 50 cities by the end of the year. In August, the company welcomes its ten-millionth DSL customer.
Commitment to disabled sports
For two years now, Deutsche Telekom has sponsored disabled sports and the international Paralympic movement. Thanks to a support program funded by Deutsche Telekom and the financial services company Allianz, the more than 50 athletes of the "German Paralympics Top Team" are able to prepare optimally for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.
New products and services are offered
The year 2007 brings a number of new products and services. With its slogan, "Making communications as simple as fast food," congstar, Deutsche Telekom's new secondary brand, offers flexible, simple rates – with no minimum contract period – for surfing and calling. In connection with the IFA exhibition, Deutsche Telekom launches its "Entertain" IPTV service. And Deutsche Telekom's customer service staff now make service calls on Saturdays.
T-City Friedrichshafen – the modern city
In 2006, Deutsche Telekom launches its "T-City" competition. The winner of the competition, which is open to German cities with between 25,000 and 100,000 inhabitants, is to be equipped with state-of-the-art broadband technology and innovative communications solutions. The winner: Friedrichshafen, located on Lake Constance. All in all, Deutsche Telekom plans to invest up to 115 million euros in order to give the city a state-of-the-art communications infrastructure. The new services being provided will include an e-ticketing service for the catamaran ferry service on Lake Constance. "Smart City" topics are expected to become more and more important for Deutsche Telekom in the coming years. In this area, the company is developing intelligent solutions such as the "Park and Joy" app. In operation since 2017, the app's algorithm locates optimal parking spaces at drivers' destinations and navigates drivers to them.
A new strategy emphasizes growth
Deutsche Telekom aims to please its customers and to position itself as a service provider for personal and social networking. The new strategy has four emphases: assuring the company's competitiveness in Germany; achieving growth in international markets, via mobile communications; achieving growth by emphasizing new internet trends; and expanding the company's ICT business for corporate customers. In addition, the Board of Management announces plans to radically simplify the company's brand presence – in the interest of better customer centricity. T-Home will be the company's brand for home-oriented services, while T-Mobile will be its brand for mobile services.
Strikes hit T-Service
On June 20, following months of warning strikes and full-fledged strikes, the negotiating commission of the ver.di trade union finally approves the company's internal outsourcing of service staff. The agreement, which is reached in the city of Bad Neuenahr, comes at the end of marathon negotiations lasting seven days and seven nights. Planned 6-percent salary reductions are to be cushioned so as to be socially acceptable. In the process, three new Group companies are to be established: Deutsche Telekom Technischer Service GmbH, Deutsche Telekom Netzproduktion GmbH, and Deutsche Telekom Kundenservice GmbH.
The iPhone revolutionizes mobile communications
It is no exaggeration to say that the iPhone revolutionized the mobile communications market. It intensified the trend toward mobile internet use, and it opened up completely new possibilities in such use. On November 9, Deutsche Telekom begins selling the first Apple iPhone in its shops – on an exclusive basis. In the following year, sales of the phone begin in Austria, the Netherlands, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
The end of an era – Deutsche Telekom stops sponsoring professional cycling
Any cycling fan will have heard of Team Telekom – or of Team T-Mobile, from the period as of 2004. From 1991 to 2007, Deutsche Telekom sponsors a professional cycling team. During this period, the company's team is highly successful, with highlights including the victories of Bjarne Riis and Jan Ullrich in the 1996 and 1997 (respectively) editions of the Tour de France and Erik Zabel's six wins of the Tour de France's Green Jersey. On November 27, 2007, Deutsche Telekom terminates its cycling sponsorship, with immediate effect. The move comes in response to doping scandals that greatly damage the sport's image and reputation.
Blackstone purchases 192 million T-Shares
On April 24, 2006, the private-equity company Blackstone purchases 192 million Deutsche Telekom shares from KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau). The purchase amounts to 4.5 percent of the company's share capital. Deutsche Telekom AG welcomes the sale with the following words of its CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke: "We are delighted over the fact that, in Blackstone, we have gained a shareholder with proven expertise in the area of telecommunications." The transaction lowers the Federal Government's and KfW's joint stake in Deutsche Telekom to about 33 percent.
A summer fairy tale: Soccer World Cup in Germany, powered by DT
Deutsche Telekom is one of the winners of the 2006 soccer World Cup. The company is Germany's best-known World Cup sponsor. The special activities it conducts in connection with the World Cup include an "Operation Alex" in which Berlin's TV tower is turned into a World Cup landmark. Deutsche Telekom also provides a wide range of services and solutions that support the World Cup's success as an event. For example, the company equips World Cup stadiums with state-of-the-art IT equipment, T-Systems provides worldwide TV broadcasting of the matches, and T-Mobile provides mobile TV broadcasts.
Kai-Uwe Ricke leaves, and René Obermann takes over
With effect as of November 13, 2006, Kai-Uwe Ricke resigns as CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG. His successor is René Obermann, who previously served as CEO of T-Mobile Deutschland and, since December 2002, also as CEO of T-Mobile International AG & Co. KG. Obermann has over 20 years of experience in a sector characterized by rapid technological change and a constant stream of new market challenges. He places especially high priority on service and on customer centricity. At the same time, he plans to adhere strongly to the company's strict cost-management policy.
Restructuring of the company's service units
In October, Deutsche Telekom announces plans to restructure its service units and reduce associated costs. To that end, about 45,000 T-Com employees will be outsourced into new service companies, in the framework of the "T-Service" project.
Four pillars become three
On January 1, 2005, T-Com and T-Online merge to form the new "Broadband / Fixed network" business area. With this move, Deutsche Telekom prepares the way for a strategic reorientation in line with its evolution into a customer-oriented service company and with its aim of achieving sustainable, profitable growth. In addition to delivering quality products and technologies, the new one-source services highlight the additional added value the company wishes to provide to customers.
Toll Collect is launched
In the early 1990s, the German government decided to introduce a toll for trucks using German autobahns. In March 2002, "Toll Collect" was founded, as a joint venture of Deutsche Telekom (45 percent), Daimler (45 percent) and the French company Cofiroute (10 percent). Shortly thereafter, Toll Collect was chosen as the operator of the new toll system. After a number of delays in preparations, the launch of the toll system was postponed. On January 1, 2005, the system was launched. It has been in operation since 2006, without interruption and with full functionality. Toll Collect, the operating company, has been owned by the Federal Republic of Germany since September 2018.
T-Systems acquires gedas AG from Volkswagen
On December 15, 2005, T-Systems announces the acquisition of gedas AG, a subsidiary of Volkswagen. At the same time, the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems and Volkswagen AG enter into a framework agreement on IT services. The agreement is valued at 2.5 billion euros and has a term of seven years. A project team at T-Systems guides the integration of the former VW subsidiary, which has 5,500 employees and annual revenue of more than 600 million euros. Integration of gedas AG is expected to strengthen T-Systems' position as a leading provider of information and communications technology services and, in light of the company's more than 50 international locations, in a total of 13 countries, to contribute decisively to T-Systems' international growth.
"T-Com House" shows the latest home and living trends
In its "T-Com House" in Berlin, Deutsche Telekom presents state-of-the-art technology for homes. Interested visitors receive the opportunity to live in the T-Com House and to try out innovative telecommunications services in a modern living environment.
Tutankhamun visits Bonn
Some 860,000 visitors throng to the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany (the Bundeskunsthalle), in Bonn, to see an exhibition entitled "Tutankhamun – the Golden Beyond." That attendance sets a record for the venue. Deutsche Telekom sponsors the exhibition, which features burial objects of the legendary Egyptian pharaoh, in connection with its celebration of its first ten years as a stock corporation.
Merger of T-Online
In October 2004, Deutsche Telekom announces its plan to merge its subsidiary T-Online International AG with the Deutsche Telekom parent company. The merger is designed to future-proof the Group's business position with regard to intensifying convergence of telecommunications services and internet services. At the shareholders' meeting in April 2005, a large majority of T-Online shareholders approve the plan. In June 2006, the merger is recorded in the Commercial Register.
The 32,000 program proceeds with no layoffs
Losses of market share – due, in part, to regulatory factors – leave their marks on the company. Deutsche Telekom announces that a total of 32,000 employees will be affected by workforce reductions in the years 2006 to 2008. Terminations are avoided, however. The workforce reductions are carried out in the most socially acceptable way possible, via severance payments, and phased and early retirement schemes. In addition, many employees, with the support of Vivento, the company's own placement-services company, find new positions within the Group or return to the public sector.
Now UMTS can actually be used
T-Mobile Deutschland sets an example: On May 4, 2004, the company – the leading mobile network operator in Germany – becomes the country's first MNO to commercially market a UMTS-capable cell phone. The phone, the Nokia 7600, offers T-Mobile customers the full range of mobile broadband communications. It supports mobile data exchange at speeds of up to 384 kilobits per second (kbps), multimedia services such as Mobile Jukebox, and video messaging (sending of video clips).
Establishment of Deutsche Telekom Stiftung
The official founding meeting of the foundation Deutsche Telekom Stiftung takes place on February 11, 2004 in Berlin. The aim of the foundation is to strengthen Germany's position as a leader in education, research and technology. In a move seen as supportive of that aim, the organization is given headquarters in Bonn. The non-profit foundation, with its endowment of 50 million euros, has the task of promoting the development of a connected knowledge and information society, both nationally and internationally. To that end, it carries out numerous projects in the areas of education, research and innovative technologies.
Research collaboration with TU Berlin
In 2004, Deutsche Telekom and the university TU Berlin (Technische Universität Berlin) jointly establish the university-affiliated institute Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs), as a public-private partnership. In the T-Labs framework, the two organizations conduct joint research in the areas of information and communications technologies and digital innovation.
T-Com launches its own brand presence
In 2003, Deutsche Telekom's subsidiary T-Com launches its own brand presence. With this move, T-Com, specializing in fixed-network services, receives a public profile of its own. The new brand joins the Deutsche Telekom Group's now-familiar T-Mobile, T-Online and T-Systems brands. Now, many of the fixed-network products and services that customers associate with the name "Deutsche Telekom" will have a new source: "T-Com."
An image campaign: "The link between us"
Deutsche Telekom launches a new image campaign using the slogan "The link between us." TV commercials and media advertising make the key aspects of the Group's new image, "quality, efficiency and innovation," come alive. The declared aim of the campaign is to establish the "T" as a seal of quality.
Deutsche Telekom divests itself of its cable business
In 1999, Deutsche Telekom began the process of selling off its cable business. In July 2000, the entrepreneurial leadership of its cable companies in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse passed over to new owners. Now, the final step in the process is taken: Deutsche Telekom sells its remaining 40-percent stake in the cable company Kabel Baden-Württemberg. This move completes the process of selling off all of Deutsche Telekom's cable companies.
New representative office in Berlin
On February 7, 2002, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Deutsche Telekom CEO Ron Sommer open Deutsche Telekom's new Representative Office in Berlin. It is located on the German capital's Französische Straße. The building in which the office is located, the country's former central imperial telegraph office (Kaiserliches Haupttelegrafenamt) was built in 1863. A restored section of the building, with an address on Berlin's Jägerstraße, is opened in 2000. A new addition, with its address on Französische Straße, is opened some two years later, and the Berlin Representative Office is officially dedicated. The event facilities available at the office include an atrium with a height of about 20 meters. The atrium connects with a seven-story office building with working space for about 120 persons.
T-Mobile Day in London, Vienna and Prague
An extensive brand migration is carried out in 2002, with the aim of gathering brands under a common "T-Mobile" brand name. On April 18, a "T-Mobile Day" in support of this aim is held in London, Vienna and Prague. The T-Mobile Day marks the simultaneous launch of the T-Mobile brand in the UK, in Austria and in the Czech Republic. It features three simultaneous press conferences and show events.
DT becomes main sponsor of FC Bayern München
As of July 1, Deutsche Telekom becomes a new main sponsor of the FC Bayern München soccer club, supplanting the carmaker Opel in this sponsorship role. The pertinent agreement, which has an initial term of six years, accords Deutsche Telekom an extensive range of communication and advertising rights. The players' jerseys now bear a T-Mobile logo, in support of the company's European subsidiaries' transition to the new unified brand. The Bayern München team now figures continuously in Deutsche Telekom's public communication.
Ron Sommer steps down
At its meeting on July 16, the Deutsche Telekom Supervisory Board decides to appoint Helmut Sihler as the company's temporary CEO, for a period of six months. Helmut Sihler served as the Chairman of Deutsche Telekom's Supervisory Board from July 1, 1996 to the year 2000. He becomes the Group's acting CEO following the resignation of Ron Sommer, and he continues in that role until Kai-Uwe Ricke takes over as CEO in November 2002.
VoiceStream becomes T-Mobile USA
In the U.S., the VoiceStream brand is replaced by the brand "T-Mobile USA." The well-known actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is engaged to promote the transition in the company's advertising.
Getting out of debt
The program "6 plus 6" is launched, with the aim of reducing Deutsche Telekom's debt and driving the company's growth. Under the program, 6 billion euros raised from the sale of non-strategic shareholdings, and 6 billion euros drawn from free cash flow from operations, are to be channeled directly into debt reduction. The program is completed early, in the third quarter of 2003, after generating greater debt reduction than had been planned.
A major flood causes disruptions
In August 2002, a major flood occurs along the Elbe River. Soon, it enters the state of Saxony's historical records as a "flood of the century." The flood causes failures in large sections of the area's fixed-network and mobile-network infrastructures. Last-minute efforts to protect a key central exchange in Dresden from the floodwaters are successful. In Elbe catchment areas, floodwaters tear telephone cables along many roads and bridges and inundate exchanges.
Kai-Uwe Ricke is appointed as the new CEO
With effect as of November 15, 2002, Kai-Uwe Ricke is appointed as the new CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG. Ricke's first position with the Deutsche Telekom Group was as CEO of DeTeMobil. He joined the company in January 1998. His direction, which emphasized a focus on the company's T-D1 core business, provided the basis for a return to German-market leadership. In February 2000, Ricke became CEO of the newly founded company T-Mobile International AG. In May 2001, he was appointed to the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom, as Chief Operating Officer for Deutsche Telekom's mobile-communications and online businesses.
Introduction of the "four-pillars" strategy
January 1, the Deutsche Telekom Group introduces a structure comprising the four divisions T-Com, T-Systems, T-Mobile and T-Online. At the same time, it restructures its Board of Management in keeping with these divisions, or "pillars." Josef Brauner becomes head of the area "CS" (T-Com and T-Systems), while Kai-Uwe Ricke assumes responsibility for the area "MO" (T-Mobile and T-Online). In addition, Gerd Tenzer becomes head of a new area, "Production and Technical Systems" (Produktion und Technik").
VoiceStream, a success story
Over the course of the year, VoiceStream registers customer growth of more than 45 percent, and it closes out the year 2001 with a record-setting quarter. Along with Christmas business, measures for building customer loyalty play an important role in this success. As a result, VoiceStream is a standout in an otherwise sluggish market.
T-Mobile becomes first transatlantic GSM-services provider
At the end of May 2001, Deutsche Telekom acquires the two U.S. mobile network operators VoiceStream and Powertel, for a total purchase price of about 40 billion euros, and T-Mobile International becomes the world's first transatlantic provider of GSM-based mobile network services. Testimonials in support of the move are provided by the tennis legends Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi.
T-Online cooperates with BILD and ZDF
T-Online moves to become a leading internet media network by entering into a range of cooperation agreements with key media partners such as the German broadcaster ZDF and the German newspaper BILD. The number of customers who access its portal grows by 35 percent, while its segment revenue increases by 28.5 percent. The factors responsible for this growth include a new customer- and profit-oriented rates structure and intensified development of new offerings involving high-quality, payable content.
T-Online: The internet is ready for the stock market
Am 17. April 2000, nur zwei Tage nach Bekanntgabe des Emissionspreises von 27 Euro, werden die T-Online-Aktien in den Handel im On April 17, 2000, only two days after the 27-euro issue price is announced, T-Online shares begin trading in the "new market" (Neuer Markt) segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. With the share sales, T-Online achieves a market capitalization of 32.6 billion euros.
The public offering, comprising a volume of 106 million shares, meets with demand for some 2.1 billion shares, meaning it is oversubscribed some 20-fold.
German government places 200 million shares at third IPO
In June 2000, Deutsche Telekom holds a third IPO, and shares held by the German government are sold for the first time. A total of 200 million such shares, from the portfolio of the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) development bank, are sold via the stock exchange. The issue price is 66.50 euros. Once again, private investors pay a reduced issue price – in this case, 63.50 euros. And loyalty shares are again offered – this time, following a holding period of 18 months.
Internationalization takes off
The year 2000 is shaped by a number of acquisitions, including acquisitions of stakes in other companies. Deutsche Telekom increases its stake in max.mobil, an Austrian mobile-network operator, to 100 percent. In addition, it acquires a majority stake of 60 percent in Matáv, a Hungarian company, and it gains a majority stake in Slovenské Telekomunikácie (Slovakia). In September, acting through T-Mobile International, its holding company for mobile communications business, it participates in the founding of the Dutch mobile-network operator Ben. In 2002, it completes a full acquisition of that company.
Across the Atlantic, from Europe
Deutsche Telekom ventures into the North American market: On July 24, 2000, it enters into an agreement to purchase the mobile network operator VoiceStream Wireless Corporation. That company (together with Powertel) is later rebranded as T-Mobile USA, through which Deutsche Telekom becomes the world's leading provider of GSM-based mobile voice and data services. In the first quarter of the year, VoiceStream registers 18.5 percent customer growth, thereby becoming the fastest-growing mobile network provider in the USA. In cooperation with the various American companies in which it has majority stakes, Deutsche Telekom now has a reach of 375 million potential mobile subscribers. Also, Deutsche Telekom agrees to purchase Powertel, a minor company.
Expensive, but important: T-Mobile bids successfully for a German UMTS license
On August 18, 2000, in an auction of German UMTS frequencies, T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom's mobile communications subsidiary, acquires two 5 MHz frequency blocks of paired spectrum and one 5 MHz block of unpaired spectrum, for a total cost of 16.7 billion deutschmarks. With this success, the company, as an established GSM-network operator with a customer base of more than 15 million, has an outstanding starting position in the UMTS sector. In the years that follow, the high costs paid in the auction, for licenses limited to a term of about 20 years, are a focus of considerable controversy, because they limit the available options for investments in network infrastructure and resources.
T-Systems is established
On September 21, 2000, T-Systems International GmbH is founded, with headquarters in Frankfurt. Deutsche Telekom brings its subsidiaries DeTeSystems, DeTeCSM, Detecon, T-Data and T-Nova into the new company, along with its Data Communications and Media Broadcast Group units and debis Systemhaus, which it acquired from Daimler. With these moves, it combines all of its systems solutions business under one umbrella, and it becomes the first company to globally offer telecommunications and IT solutions from one source. T-Systems is the second-largest systems house in Europe, after IBM.
Establishment of Kabel Deutschland GmbH
As planned, Deutsche Telekom AG outsources its cable business at the beginning of 1999. It establishes a new Bonn-based subsidiary, Kabel Deutschland GmbH, for its entire cable business, including all of the technical equipment concerned. A central services company, MediaServices GmbH, is founded as a second subsidiary on February 1. MediaServices GmbH, based in Munich, is a central service provider for content and programs. The process of selling the company's cable business is initiated in the same year.
Planned merger with Telecom Italia fails to come about
Deutsche Telekom continues to work intensively on its internationalization and globalization strategy. It plans a merger with Telecom Italia, with the aim of becoming Europe's leading global telecommunications company. As a result of the merger, over 100 million customers worldwide, one third of the European population and more than one third of Europe's companies would receive access to the two companies' networks. The companies' mobile communications business would be greatly strengthened in that the post-merger company would also have more than 33 million subscribers worldwide. Ultimately, the merger fails to come about, however. Nevertheless, Deutsche Telekom continues to systematically implement a strategy of internationalization and globalization.
High speed: The launch of T-DSL
In 1999, marketing of T-DSL begins – to business customers at first, and then to consumers soon thereafter. The fast T-DSL data service is provided with ADSL technology, and via the copper wire pairs found in normal telephone lines.
The second IPO places 286 million shares
The company's second initial public offering takes place in June 1999. As part of a capital increase, and via a Europe-wide sales campaign, some 286 million shares are placed with private investors. The issue price is 39.50 euros, with private investors paying a reduced issue price of 37.50 euros. Loyalty shares are again offered – this time, to investors who hold their shares for about 14 months. The proceeds from the share issue total 11 billion euros.
Acquisition of One 2 One strengthens Europe strategy
Deutsche Telekom acquires the British mobile network operator One 2 One for 6.7 billion pounds. The acquisition is another step on Deutsche Telekom's path to becoming Europe's leading mobile services provider. The company Everything Everywhere, originally formed as a joint venture between Deutsche Telekom's and France Télécom's mobile communications businesses in the UK, is sold in 2016 to the British Telecom Group. In return for its stake in the venture, Deutsche Telekom receives a stake of about 12 percent in the British Telecom Group. The move is motivated by the perspective that permanently integrated business models comprising both fixed and mobile services have better competitive chances than mobile-only services do.
Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Post
Germany's former Federal Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (BMPT) was originally established in 1949. At that time, it was known as the Federal Ministry of Signal Communications Affairs (Bundesministerium für Angelegenheiten des Fernmeldewesens). Later, it was renamed the Federal Ministry of Post and Signal Communications (Bundesministerium für das Post- und Fernmeldewesen). It received its final name in 1989. At the end of 1997, the ministry is dissolved, after being in existence for nearly 49 years. The move comes in the context of the privatization of the postal and telecommunications sector. On January 1, 1998, its work is assumed by the new Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Posts, headed by its President, Klaus-Dieter Scheurle. As of 1998, the German telecommunications market is liberalized, and it becomes one of the world's most open markets for telecommunications services.
Information network between Berlin and Bonn
On February 5, 1998, the Federal Ministry of the Interior issues a contract to Deutsche Telekom AG for the establishment of a multimedia Berlin-Bonn Information Network following the federal government's move from Bonn to Berlin. The contract calls for Deutsche Telekom to provide fiber-optic infrastructure, transmission and switching equipment and a network management system for federal authorities' communications. All provided systems and equipment are to be state-of-the-art and reserved for the authorities' exclusive use. Connections between the locations involved are to employ ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and ISDN technology, and to boast bandwidth of up to 155 megabits per second. The network is expected to connect 100 locations and serve 30,000 users.
ADSL – Pilot test of high-speed internet
On June 15, 1998, Deutsche Telekom AG launches a pilot project for broadband multimedia applications, in cooperation with the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the initiative "NRW Broadband" (Breitband.NRW). The project employs a new technology, Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL). In the pilot project, a total of 450 companies and private households in Bonn, Cologne, Dortmund, and Düsseldorf test ADSL technology, which boosts data-transmission speeds on copper wires by a factor of about 50.
T-Mobile launches its first prepaid card
Prepaid cards inaugurate the triumphal advance of mobile communications. T-Mobile's Telly D1 Xtra is the first such card in Germany. With it, users purchase calling credit, and agree to a minimum total monthly purchase of 50 deutschmarks. Users recharge their cards by calling a hotline or by purchasing a "telephone check." Telly D1 Xtra accounts can carry up to 350 deutschmarks of credit.
The first general shareholders' meeting
Deutsche Telekom AG's first general shareholders' meeting, held in the Festhalle facility on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds, attracts some 10,000 shareholders. The speech given by CEO Ron Sommer is posted immediately on the internet.
German reunification: Official conclusion of the Aufbau Ost financial support program
At a ceremony in Neubrandenburg, the telecommunications network is symbolically handed over to German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (left). In the "Telekom 2000" project, the telecommunications infrastructure in the new German states was upgraded to Federal-Republic (western German) standards in record time. Prior to the program, a total of 1.8 million telephone lines were available to the former GDR's 16.5 million citizens, and eastern Germany had no mobile networks or cable TV. Within seven years, the number of analog telephone lines in the region was increased more than fourfold, to 7.6 million. In addition, over 1.1 million ISDN lines were installed.
The Deutsche Telekom network is completely digitalized
In December 1997, the process of digitalizing the company's network in Germany is completed, with the result that all of the network's local telephone exchanges are digitalized. The purposes of this measure include enabling the Deutsche Telekom network to be opened for use by competitors. Seven years after German reunification, Germany boasts the world's most sophisticated telecommunications network.
VAT liability for DTAG's monopoly services
As of 1996, the new stock corporations pay taxes just like all other companies; they no longer pay a levy to the Federal Government. Full VAT liability for Deutsche Telekom AG, as of January 1, 1996, was approved in the framework of the first postal reform.
New rates concept, with distance and time zones
The reform's key focus is on terminating the policy of subsidizing local-call rates with the rates for long-distance calls. To that end, the rates for local calls are increased, and long-distance rates are drastically reduced. This move plays an essential role in safeguarding Deutsche Telekom's competitive position with regard to other providers. The company divides its domestic rates into four distance zones: City, Region 50, Region 200 and Long Distance. In addition, it increases the number of calling-time periods from 2 to 5. The new period rates include morning rates, afternoon rates, "leisure time" rates (Freizeittarif), "moonshine" rates (Mondscheintarif) and night rates.
Skyper paging service for mobile short text messages
At the 1996 CeBIT Home exhibition, T-Mobile introduces the Skyper paging service. It supports text-message transmissions of up to 80 characters – half the length of a regular text message within the SMS short message service. It is an innovative information service, with a wide range of user-selectable informational channels, for mobile users.
The T-Share is hugely popular with small shareholders
In November 1996, Deutsche Telekom AG goes public, and becomes listed on the Frankfurt, New York and Tokyo stock exchanges. The company places a total of 690 million shares with investors, including both private investors in Germany and institutional investors around the world. Institutional investors pay a share price of 28.50 deutschmarks (14.57 euros), while private investors pay a reduced price of 28 deutschmarks. An additional 23.7 million shares are placed with employees. Private investors who retain their shares until the end of September 1999 become eligible for free loyalty shares, provided in a 10:1 ratio for up to 300 shares purchased in the initial public offering. The T-Share reaches its highest valuation, 103.50 euros, on March 6, 2000, and its lowest valuation, 7.71 euros, on June 5, 2012. In the run-up to the first initial public offering, an unprecedented advertising campaign is conducted, with the aim of getting the German public to view shares as an attractive investment option. The campaign is built around the actor Manfred Krug.
What happened previously
In the early 1990s, Deutsche Telekom was part of a highly dynamic market. The mobile communications sector was growing at a breathtaking pace, on the basis of GSM, the first European mobile communications standard. As of 1992, the growth was fueled by competition between the two providers Deutsche Telekom and Mannesmann Mobilfunk (now Vodafone). Then, in the mid-1990s, internet technologies and internet-based applications began their triumphant advance. At the same time, competition in the liberalized telecommunications market was becoming ever sharper, and presenting all competitors with enormous challenges. Deutsche Telekom, the sector's market and technology leader, began systematically orienting its business strategies and processes to the requirements created by domestic – and, increasingly, international – competition.
The second postal reform enters into force
On January 1, 1995, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, a public sector company, becomes Deutsche Telekom AG, a stock corporation. The law that mandates the privatization, and that enters into force on that date, is the German "Law on the Reorganization of Posts and Telecommunications," popularly known as the "second postal reform" (Postreform II). It is preceded in 1990 by the first postal reform (Postreform I), which divides Deutsche Bundespost (the German federal post office) into three autonomous public enterprises: Postdienst, Postbank and Deutsche Bundespost Telekom. In light of the ongoing economic and technological development, the next logical steps are to convert these public enterprises, each with its own business area, into stock corporations and to privatize them.
Ron Sommer becomes the Deutsche Telekom CEO
On May 16, 1995, Ron Sommer becomes the CEO of Deutsche Telekom AG. He succeeds Wilhelm Pällmann, who had been the company's provisional CEO since its founding as a stock corporation. Pällmann had succeeded Helmut Ricke at the helm of the Deutsche Telekom organization. Ricke had resigned his post unexpectedly in December 1994, after having guided the operations of the public-sector company Deutsche Bundespost Telekom for five years, and preparing it for privatization.
"T" for Telekom
The big "T" becomes the group logo for the new Deutsche Telekom AG. The T, an abbreviation for the name "Deutsche Bundespost Telekom," which had been used since 1990, serves as a sign of stability. It also stands for the organization's change into a privately held company, and it attracts meaningful attention in an environment in which more and more competitors are operating. It is used in combination with (at least) four small squares, the "digits," which symbolize the company's services.
The "International" Board of Management department begins operating
In response to globalization, Deutsche Telekom begins entering into partnerships and joint ventures worldwide, on a significant scale. On January 1, 1995, an "International" Board of Management department is established, and charged with successfully integrating such cooperative ventures – including future ventures – within the structures of the Deutsche Telekom Group. The first head of the new Board department is Carl-Friedrich Meißner, the Board's member responsible for "systems solution customers." By the end of the 1990s, Deutsche Telekom is operating in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
A global alliance – Germany, France, USA
Deutsche Telekom's internationalization strategy keeps moving forward. In June 1995, the final obstacles standing in the way of the company's global alliance with France Télécom, involving a joint stake in Sprint Corporation, are overcome. "Global One," a joint venture of Deutsche Telekom, France Télécom and Sprint, is an important step on the company's path to becoming a global telecommunications company. The joint venture begins its operations in January 1996.
T-Online gets ready to launch
The company's venerable "Bildschirmtext" (Btx) online service is upgraded into a new email service with internet access, "T-Online Classic." (The Btx era ends in 2001.)
Microsoft comes out with Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 1.0. This new software makes the internet increasingly attractive for private users and commercial providers alike.
The current one – MagentaEINS, the launch of 5G, and the merger of T-Mobile US with Sprint are just some of the highlights of the former Chief Financial Officer’s term of office. We can't wait to see what happens next.
The innovator – he refocused Deutsche Telekom in Germany with the “One Company” project and the founding of the service companies. Decisive momentum was created for the U.S. business with the “Un-carrier strategy”. Other notable events during his tenure include the relaunch of the brand and the introduction of the “Life is for sharing” brand promise.
The level-headed one – he had the difficult task of debt reduction and consolidation. Through staff restructuring and cost-cutting measures, he managed to make the company more efficient. By merging T-Com and T-Online, he also set a milestone in terms of opening up the broadband market in Germany. The Deutsche Telekom Foundation was also established under his leadership.
Prof. Dr. Helmut Sihler
The analyst – as interim manager, the former Chairman of the Supervisory Board introduced the necessary cost-cutting and efficiency program. He accompanied the launch of the T-Mobile brand in the United States.
Dr. Ron Sommer
The visionary – the IPOs under his management and the subsequent capital gain made international subsidiaries possible and, in particular, the takeover of VoiceStream – now T-Mobile US – in the United States. His four-pillar strategy led to the decentralization of Deutsche Telekom and the individual units being given more entrepreneurial independence.
The foundation layer – the former Member of the Board of Management responsible for the Development Program for Eastern Germany began his four months as interim Chairman at the same time as the launch of Deutsche Telekom AG and the founding of the “International” Board of Management department.
The pioneer – he was the first Chairman of the Board of Management at DTAG and accompanied Deutsche Telekom in its transformation from a sovereign authority to a private company.