Fixed line calls increase for Deutsche Telekom in Q4

17 Feb 2003

After witnessing seven straight quarters of decline in the number of calls made from its fixed line network T-Com, German incumbent Deutsche Telekom says it finally reversed the slump in the fourth quarter of 2002. Although the telco refused to comment on the exact number of calls made during the three month period, it said that it managed to combat the losses by increasing the number of long-distance calls and calls from fixed lines to mobiles thanks to a heavy marketing campaign. The decline in calls over the last few years is mainly due to an increasing number of dial-up internet customers moving over to DSL technology, but can also be attributed to new players stealing business since the market was liberalised in 1998. T-Com accounts for around half of Deutsche Telekom’s core earnings, and the slump has affected the telco’s ability to make payments on its EUR64 billion debt. It now claims to be back on track, however, outlining plans to pay off a significant amount of debt during 2003. Meanwhile, Microsoft has detailed plans for a new Deutsche Telekom mobile handset, using Samsung’s SGH-i700 device which has a built-in digital camera. Samsung is currently looking for a number of wireless operators to carry its new device, although pricing and availability will be left up to the cellcos themselves.