DT not looking for US consolidation

13 Oct 2009

Deutsche Telekom (DT) CFO Timotheus Hoettges has distanced the firm from speculation that it was looking to buy out rival operators to support its US arm T-Mobile USA, Bloomberg reports. As reported by CommsUpdate on 14 September DT called on advisors from Deutsche Bank to study a possible bid for Sprint Nextel, a merger which would have made the operator the second largest cellco in the market, with around 82.26 million customers as at the end of June 2009, however Hoettges’ has suggested that the firm has cooled its takeover plans by saying: ‘There are four national players in the US market for 300 million households, while in Europe, where we have 350 million households, there are 50-70 operators. We believe in our chances of being a challenger.’ Instead Hoettges says the firm’s current focus is expanding its mobile data services, he said: ‘There is no question that we lost customers because many of our customers could not get 3G. We now have to make sure that we can capitalise on the network in the top ten cities where we have invested.’

When asked about the company’s plans for fourth generation evolution the CFO said the company is still considering options of whether to enter into partnerships, wait for the FCC to auction off more licences or buy licences from a third party. In September the firm was connected to network sharing deals with WiMAX operator Clearwire and MetroPCS, which is developing a network based on Long Term Evolution (LTE), but Hoettges has said the company has not committed itself to either platform for its 4G rollout, ‘That is not yet decided. We have to consider all options.’