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.

Company history

Corporate history

Powerful appearance: the T logo is given more assertiveness and unambiguity.

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. 

Radio tower

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.

View from side of a row of stainless steel telphone columns.

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.

On the rooftops of the Headquarters in Bonn: Deutsche Telekom sends a message about climate protection.

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. 

Photomontage of two place-name signs from road traffic.

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.

Timotheus Höttges and Marcelo Claure.

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.

Glasfaserkabel mit Firmenlogos von Deutsche Telekom und ifm investors.

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.

Deutsche Telekom's IP migration.

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.

Corona warning app

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. 

CEO Timotheus Höttges

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.

The #TAKEPART festival at the IFA exhibition.


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.

Gavel, next to the letters "5G"

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!"

Work site for the fiber-optic expansion.

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.

Photo of a Magenta Telekom Shop.

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.

Map of a town, with dead spots marked on it.

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.

Photomontage showing the Deutsche Telekom and Sprint logos.

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.

Logo of the EURO 2024, the 2024 UEFA European Soccer Championship.

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. 

Graphic showing the different available rates.

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. 

Photomontage showing the T-Mobile and Sprint logos.

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.

Photomontage showing the Brandenburg Gate, with a smartphone in the foreground.

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.

A view of the DIGITAL X event.

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.

Two customer service representatives in discussion

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.

Pipes owned by Deutsche Telekom.

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.

Photomontage with logos of Deutsche Telekom and Microsoft.

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.

Photo of a concert.

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!

Photomontage: Street sign with the words "fiber-optic zone"

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.

How sensors keep traffic flowing

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.

Logos of Deutsche Telekom and Tele2 NL in front of a Dutch flag.

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.

5G antenna

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.

Photo of a cloud.

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. 

Photo symbolizing MagentaONE.

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 on a smartphone being held by a woman.

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.

Euro coins

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.

Deutsche Telekom supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

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.

Europe as a circuit board.

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.

Poster for the campaign.

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.

A technician working on a network expansion.

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.

New office equipment and furnishings.

"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.

Portrait of Tim Höttges

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 inside of a street cabinet.

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.

Outside view of the data center in Biere.

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.

Photo symbolizing MagentaEINS.

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.

Portrait of John Legere

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.

A street cabinet in front of a residential building.

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.

Children playing in the snow

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.

Fiber-optic cable in front of a house.

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.

Photo symbolizing cybersecurity.

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.

Photo symbolizing T-Mobile USA

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).

 U.S. flag in front of skyscrapers.

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.

Photo of Claudia Nemat, René Obermann and Marion Schick.

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. 

Photo symbolizing the presence of Deutsche Telekom in Poland

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.

Photo symbolizing mobile and fixed-network communications

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.

A bundle of fiber-optic cable.

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.

Photo symbolizing the women's quota

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 display stand.

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.

The first LTE antenna, in Kyritz.

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.

Customer service agent during a call.

"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.

Photo symbolizing the presence of Deutsche Telekom in Poland.

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). 

Photo symbolizing the shareholders' meeting.

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. 

Presentation by Christoph Schläffer on the topic of connectivity.

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. 

LIGA total! Presentation at the CeBIT exhibition.

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.

OTE's headquarters in Greece.

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.

Photo of a computer in an exchange

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.  

The "Life is for sharing" logo.

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.

VDSL expansion: On-site work

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.

Cyclist with a leg prosthesis.

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.

Presentation of a prize to the 100,000th "Entertain" customer.

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.

The Deutsche Telekom airship in Friedrichshafen.

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.

Perimeter advertising for T-Home, in the Allianz Arena.

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.

Employees during a warning strike.

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.

iPhone in a Telekom Shop.

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.

Reception for the Team Telekom, in Bonn, following the 1997 Tour de France.

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. 

Kai-Uwe Ricke during his speech at the 2006 shareholders' meeting.

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.

Berlin's TV tower as a magenta-colored soccer ball.

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.

René Obermann at the 2007 press conference on Deutsche Telekom’s financial statements.

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.

Customer service agent at work in a service center.

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. 

Telekom Logo

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.

Truck-toll sign on an autobahn

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.

Exterior view of the T-Systems headquarters in Frankfurt.

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.

Living and dining areas on the ground floor of the T-Com House in Berlin.

"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. 

Poster for the Tutankhamun exhibition, in Deutsche Telekom's Headquarters.

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 report from the year 2006.

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. 

Telekom Logo

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.

Changing antennas on Cologne's TV tower

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).

Kai-Uwe Ricke at Deutsche Telekom Stiftung's founding meeting.

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.

The Deutsche Telekom Laboratories logo.

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 advertising in Munich's Olympic stadium.

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."

The slogan for the new image campaign is "The link between us".

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. 

Photo of a cable, for symbolic effect.

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. 

Outdoor view of Deutsche Telekom's Representative Office in Berlin.

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 advertising in London.

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.

Symbol image FC Bayern München

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's press conference regarding his resignation.

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.

Advertising for T-Mobile USA, with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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.

Deutsche Telekom Headquarters at night.

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.

Flooded telephone booth in Jessnitz.

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.

Portrait of Kai-Uwe Ricke

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.

Installation of the "T" logo on the Cologne television tower.

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").

Chart showing customer growth at VoiceStream.

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.

Woman making a call, in the United States.

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 logo on the roof of the T-Online head office.

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.

Wolfgang Keuntje, managing director of Online Pro Dienste GmbH.

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.

Deutsche Telekom's third IPO takes place soon after the first two IPOs, in the year 2000.

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.

 Deutsche Telekom increases its shareholdings in the Hungarian company Matáv to 60 percent.

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. 

View of a VoiceStream store in New York.

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.

UMTS-capable cell phone: Nokia 7600

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. 

The T-Systems logo

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.

Coaxial cable

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.

Deutsche Telekom logo

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.

Portrait of Robert T-Online

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.

Ron Sommer and Hans Eichel at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

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.

Press conference with Jürgen Kindervater, Ron Sommer, Tim Samples, Kai-Uwe Ricke and Jeffrey A. Hedberg.

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.

The "T" logo on the roof of a Deutsche Telekom building.

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.

Photo of a cable, for symbolic effect.

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.

Photo of a cable, for symbolic effect.

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.

SIM card in a hand.

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. 

An interior view of the Festhalle on the Frankfurt exhibition grounds.

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.

From left: Helmut Kohl and Ron Sommer.

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. 

Picture symbolizing the digitalization of the network.

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.

Twilight view of a telephone booth with a person.

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.

The information sheet for the 1996 rates, with a smiling sun with a telephone.

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 with text message in its display.

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. 

First postal reform

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. 

Foundation ceremony of Deutsche Telekom AG in Cologne.

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.

Picture of Dr. Ron Sommer

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.

Installation of the new Deutsche Telekom logo.

"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.

A world map, etched into a window pane, showing Deutsche Telekom's locations.

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.

The establishment of "Global One" is an milestone on the company's path to becoming a global telecommunications company.

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.

The T-Online logo.

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.

Portrait of Tim Höttges

Tim Höttges

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.

René Obermann

René Obermann

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. 

Portrait of Kai-Uwe Ricke

Kai-Uwe Ricke

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

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. 

Picture of Dr. Ron Sommer

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.

Wilhelm Pällmann, acting Chairman of the Board of Management at Deutsche Telekom AG, from January 1, 1995 until May 15, 1995.

Wilhelm Pällmann

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.

Helmut Ricke

Helmut Ricke

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.