Split Six Ways: the UMTS Market in Germany | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 14.11.2001
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Split Six Ways: the UMTS Market in Germany

The German market for third generation Universal Mobile Telecommunication Services is divided six ways.

T-Mobil - A subsidiary of former monopoly PTO Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobil paid DM16.582 billion (US$7.7 billion) for its 3G licence. At the end of June 2001 T-Mobil was Germany’s largest GSM operator with 22.1 million subscribers. Nokia, Siemens and Nortel have been chosen as the main 3G equipment suppliers.

D2 Vodafone (formerly Mannesmann Mobilfunk) - a subsidiary of Vodafone. For many years D2 was the country’s most popular service provider. However in recent months it has fallen behind T-Mobil in the race for subscribers and by mid-2001 had attracted 21.64 million customers. Paid DM16.47 billion (US$7.65 billion) for a licence. Siemens and Ericsson will supply D2’s 3G infrastructure.

E-Plus / Hutchison 3G Consortium - At the time of the licence award the consortium was made up of KPN Mobile, NTT DoCoMo and Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa. However, Hutchison quickly sold its stake after the consortium won its 2x10MHz licence. E-Plus launched its GSM services in May 1994 and by June 2001 had more than 7.5 million customers. Paid DM16.42 billion (US$7.62 billion) for its licence. KPN has selected Lucent and Ericsson as its 3G equipment suppliers in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Viag Interkom - 100% owned by BT, Viag is Germany’s newest second-generation operator, having launched in October 1998. The company had 3.4 million subscribers at the end of June 2001. Viag paid DM16.52 billion (US$7.67 billion) for its 3G licence. In July 2001 Viag selected Nokia as its main 3G supplier in a deal worth €400 million. A commercial service is due to be launched in the first quarter of 2003.

Group 3G - Owned by Telefónica (57.2%) and Sonera (42.8%), Group 3G paid DM16.446 billion (US$7.63 billion) for its concession. One of two licensees without an existing mobile network in Germany. Group 3G will offer services under the name ‘Quam’ and has signed GSM roaming agreements with both T-Mobil and E-Plus.

Mobilcom Multimedia - Mobilcom Multimedia is a wholly owned subsidiary of German reseller Mobilcom, which is itself owned by its chairman, Gerhard Schmidt (36%), and France Telecom (28.5%), with the rest in private hands. Mobilcom is Germany’s largest mobile reseller and does not operate its own GSM network; it paid DM16.37 billion (US$7.6 billion) for its 3G concession. In October 2000 Mobilcom chose the Swedish manufacturer Ericsson as its 3G infrastructure partner in a deal worth US$1.35 billion over two years. Mobilcom has signed a GSM roaming agreement with E-Plus.

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