Deutsche Telekom and Siemens AG today launched the roll-out of their German UMTS network in Berlin. Third generation mobile communications systems are to be built in around 20 cities by the end of the year. T-Mobile will invest a total of more than EUR 140 million in the preparation of UMTS sites and the necessary technical systems.
"Today's technical UMTS launch shows us again to be a leading innovator in the mobile sector", said Dr. Ron Sommer, Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Telekom at the International Press Colloquium in Berlin. "In the past, T-Mobile has given the market decisive stimulus on many occasions. Today's launch makes one thing clear: UMTS is not science fiction but work in progress. The evolution to third generation mobile communications has now really begun."
Deutsche Telekom has signed a far-reaching agreement with Siemens AG for the provision of technical systems for UMTS which is also significant on the international market. "I am very happy that Deutsche Telekom has chosen Siemens as a partner for this technology of the future", said Dr. Heinrich v. Pierer, Chairman of Siemens AG. "Today, two leading innovators on the telecommunications markets, Deutsche Telekom and Siemens, are together starting a new chapter in the development of mobile communications. This is a remarkable event which is respected worldwide. And what's more: It is proof of the leading role of two global players based in Germany and evidence of the innovative spirit in this country," Mr. von Pierer continued.
T-Mobile is the only transatlantic provider of mobile communications services based on GSM technology. The synergies of the international T-Mobile group will also be exploited in the field of technical systems in future. T-Mobile has already secured over 5,000 sites in Germany for the new UMTS network. A further 2,000 sites are planned for 2002.
Around 67 million customers currently use mobile communications services provided by mobile communications companies in which Deutsche Telekom holds a stake. T-Mobile is the market leader in Germany with more than 23 million customers. WAP and GPRS provide high-performance services for mobile data communications based on the nationwide GSM network. T-Mobile's international market position as the only transatlantic mobile communications provide is a further trump card in the profitable development of the growth potential of mobile data communications. In parallel with the roll-out of the technical platform, T-Mobile is also consistently expanding the service spectrum of the mobile data world. Mobile communications customers already have a broad range of information and entertainment services at their disposal based on SMS text messaging and WAP in the form of T-Mobile Online -- an offer developed from T-Motion.