Dutch telco KPN’s German mobile subsidiary E-Plus wants to completely change its business model, according to CEO Thorsten Dirks in an interview with the Financial Times Deutschland, reported by TelecomPaper. The new model will see agreements signed with multiple partners such as software firms and service providers. Dirks believes that E-Plus’s current strategy of developing a new mobile brand itself will become obsolete. To continue to compete, Dirks said, E-Plus should sign cooperation agreements with large internet brands like Yahoo! and Microsoft, offer them access to the E-Plus network, and take part of the revenue generated by those brands. The reason for the change in strategy is that the operator does not have the financial means to continuously develop and implement new services. On the other hand, it can easily open up its infrastructure for others to launch their services. Dirks said that according to internal calculations, mobile operators will be able to continue operating as they do now for a maximum of three years, after which decreasing tariffs will take their toll. No specific details about new partners and services were revealed.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, E-Plus had 13.57 million customers in Germany by the end of June 2007, giving it a 15% market share and placing it third behind T-Mobile and Germany.