"Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) today announced it is combining its mobile multimedia activities in the newly established London-based company T-Motion plc., a joint venture of T-Mobile International AG (60 percent) and T-Online International AG (40 percent).
"Nikesh Arora will be chairman of the managing board. The 32 year old finance and telecommunications expert was last employed as an equity analyst at Putnam Investments in Boston, Massachusetts.
"Inspired by new technologies and standards, such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), market researchers forecast a double-digit figure in the billions for the mobile commerce market in Europe alone in the coming years. "Germany, most notably Deutsche Telekom, already has a leading position in the mobile data communications market in Europe. We are now combining the Deutsche Telekom Group's unique expertise in the mobile communications and Internet growth markets by setting up T-Motion, creating the prerequisites for offering pan- European services, the basis for the Group's UMTS activities," said T-Mobile International's CEO Kai-Uwe Ricke.
"T-Motion will support both companies in the development of mobile services. T-Motion's services will be directed specifically at mobile Internet customers and will be optimized for use on mobile terminals. "Our main focus will be on the customer, his mobility and the development of new services for the mobile world of tomorrow that go hand in hand with technological advancements and new terminal equipment," said Nikesh Arora.
"T-Motion is the perfect extension of the 'T-Online everywhere' strategy. We will be collaborating with T-Motion in many areas and will soon be able to offer our customers additional mobile Internet services," said T-Online CEO Wolfgang Keuntje. "We intend to selectively achieve new value-added levels and participate in future revenue."
"The Telekom mobile communications holding company, T-Mobile International AG, is today already serving some 20 million customers through its wholly- owned or majority-owned subsidiaries, T-Mobil (Germany), One2One (U.K.) and max.mobil (Austria), in Europe. Moreover, it has joint ventures in Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia for an additional good three million mobile telephony customers. T-Online International AG has 5.3 million customers, making it Europe's fastest growing Internet provider and the world's second largest provider of Internet services.
"T-Mobile and T-Online have already been working closely together for some time on the development of mobile multimedia services. For example, T-D1 customers have been able to use the T-Online service for obtaining information on the balance in an account by mobile phone since the summer of 1999 -- a world first. Some 50,000 T-D1 and T-Online customers are meanwhile using this innovative service -- and every month more than 5,000 new requests for this service are received.
"Information on an account balance is sent by Short Message Service (SMS) -- a service in which Germany is in the vanguard worldwide. In 1994, the first SMS was sent via the T-D1 network; in January 1999, 80 million SMS messages were already being transmitted via T-D1; and in December last year, this figure had more than trebled to some 300 million.
"Mobile data transmission will take a huge step forward with GPRS. This summer, T-Mobil will be the first network operator in the world to introduce GPRS nationwide, putting the mobile transmission of data on a par with ISDN. When the third generation of mobile communications (UMTS = Universal Mobile Telephony System) is implemented in 2002/2003, it will be possible to increase the transmission rate once more 40-fold.