back to article T-Mobile getting out of blighty?

The Financial Times is reporting that Deutsche Telekom, owner of T-Mobile, is under pressure to get out of the UK following disappointing financials. Former-monopoly Deutsche Telekom's two largest shareholders - the German government and private-equity group Blackstone, are both reportedly keen to see T-Mobile leave the UK and …


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  1. jules

    Tesco ?

    Wouldn't be surprised if Tesco were interested !

  2. Rob

    In short

    oh Shit, taken me ages to find a mobile operator I like and I'm really happy with their tariffs :(

  3. Bassey


    That's a real shame. They were the first to offer decent data prices and are still fairly innovative in their mobile data tarrifs.

  4. Nipsirc

    And the only telco...

    ...with a signal in my area. As long as whoever buys them keeps the micro cell going in my valley I don't mind.

  5. Ben Cross

    @Shame, 3:24pm GMT

    I disagree, i'm on a skanky tariff! But anyway that's probably half my fault.

    The company that they recommend for insurance purposes though is a big pile of doodoo! I'd be glad if they moved out, hopefully they'd cancel my contract and i'd improve it elsewhere! :)

  6. Nathan


    T-Mobile have been faultless for me over the last 4 years.

    If 3 buy them I would advise every customer to run a mile, their customer service is horrific.

    The only other decent mobile operator in the UK is Orange IMO.

    Voda call quality is cr@p, Virgin is on T-Mobiles network, and O2 I had big issues with.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Out of all the major telcos (T-mobile, Voda, O2, Orange and 3) they're the only one I've never been with (having switched for better deals or because of sh*te service - yes that's you Orange and 3!).

    Perhaps it's to do with the lack of any kind of signal in Scotland (especially in the north) but I can't even think of anyone I know of who uses them even though I stay in Edinburgh.

    I suppose people on Tesco mobile and Virgin (I think) will suffer though.

  8. MrWeeble



    I like T-mobile, and found them always quick to respond with good and helpful customer services . Their tariffs suit them, and in the greatest difference from 3, they have never been evil cunts to someone I love.

    I guess I may have to start looking for another mobile provider

  9. amanfromMars Silver badge

    From Rags to Riches ..... in the Click of a Mouse, or Two, or Three, ........ Heavenly Tunes

    "The FT quotes the omniscient "person familiar with the shareholders", claiming that both the German government and Blackstone want a quick decision on the UK - in the shape of a radical fix or a plan for disposal, either of which would shake up the UK mobile business."

    Do you mean to say that neither the German government nor the Blackstone Group have a radical fix or a plan?

    Yeah, sounds about right in the midst of a Global Markets Meltdown, which incidentally is not Caused by any Loss of Confidence in the Capitalist System but a Growing Realisation of its Perverse and Unsustainable Virtual Workings. And thus, until such Times as a Free Radical Change is Announced, is it inevitably going to Fail from the Top Down, as ITs Inherent Systemic Weaknesses are Exposed to Mobilised Smart Forces.

    And those that have a Virtual Master Plan/AIBlueprint to Stop the Rot and Replace rather than merely Halt Progress and Repair a Subversive System, with a Viable Alternate Reality Game Plan, with Big Picture Spenders of Immaculate First Order in Programs that Face the Music, against the Trumpeteers and Strumpeteers of ZerodDay Exploitation with Delicious Daily Instruction, will QuITe Literally and Laterally, become Practically Billionaires, Overnight, with Accesses Granted to Trillions? :-)

    Coming Soon, to a Digital Screen BroadBandcasting to You ........ How to make Everyone Fortunate and Absolutely Fabulous Fortunes in an Instant, by not Really Trying.

    I Kid U Not.

  10. Dave

    Free phone unlocking?

    So if they decide to terminate my contract before time, I assume they'll unlock my phone for free so I can use it on an alternative network?

    They've been pretty good since I shifted to them a couple of years ago, customer service was pleasantly good when I screwed up an upgrade. It would be a shame to see them go.

  11. Richard Cartledge

    I remember the day

    when they were called One2One and Mercury before that. 1993 it was.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Well arse.

    Well bollox to this news. I've been happy with T-Mobile for over a year, having tried the rest out at some point of another. Shame.

  13. Jay Jaffa

    Time for BT to get back into the fray

    The most likely candidate for this business is BT. The synergies are clear, the T1/E1 backhaul is BT revenue in any case, lots of infrastructure and backhaul capacity for data - which is the real costly stuff and the forthcoming LTE of UMTS will require even larger backhaul capabilities (150Mb/s per 5Mhz of spectrum with support for 200+ users) which will be easier with 21CN in place and should allow a lower-cost per bit than any other UMTS LTE operator proposition going forward.

    That's of course if Vodafone don't buy BT before then ...

  14. Gilbert Wham

    Data Tariffs?

    Yes, that's all well & groovy, but *actually making a phone call* is still quite difficult...

  15. Dave


    @jules: Tesco use O2 as their network provider, so doubtful they would want their own infrastructure. Porting all their users would be rather painful. I would say VirginMobile but are they still trading / in a position to acquire? (they are a t-mob mvno so makes more sense).

    Would be a shame if T-mobile UK disappeared. They've been a reasonably decent company and quite often ended up with the best plans (do people remember Precept from the one2one days?! :) ) and their data plans (last time I looked) were the most reasonable of any network.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    Please stay!!!

    Yes, their plans are pretty good, especially the fact that unlimited data is actually unlimited, even with the fup.

    I have been with all 5 networks at one point or another.

    Vodafone: Good, but customer service deteriorated and they haven't invested in their network around here for about 10 years.

    O2: Customer service is crap, but they put a mast up locally in the last 2 years.

    Orange: No coverage anywhere near here, and congestion where they do have coverage.

    3: Until the radio sharing deal, they had no coverage at all; might be OK now but if t-mob disappears they so does that radio sharing deal.

    T-mob: Customer service is very good; deals are good; coverage is better than most (they invested in their network when no-one else was doing it)... I'm happy with them.

    I think the potential buyers would be: sky (for quad play); virgin (they already use the network) or BT (they like acquisitions)

    I think I would prefer virgin, primarily because beardy Branson is the least evil of the lot of them!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They were ok

    On PAYG before being twken over by zee Germans when they started hiking the prices, I had a phone with excellent RF gain (Ericsson S868) but when I switched to Virgin with a Nokia 3310 I realised how shit their network was as i lost coverage constantly

    Saying that though my first experience with One2One customer service was one week of calls trying to get my voicemail up and running, being fobbed off with codes to input etc, only at the end of the week did they admit server trouble.

    Suffered it for four years as Virgin were cheap until they were borged by NTL, now with O2 where service is excellent (both network and CS)

    Good riddence.

  18. Anna Log

    @I remember the day

    Didn't they also use the Cable and Wireless name as their brand for a while? Must be the most rebranded network operator in the UK anyway.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    :/ is a title

    my arse is still sore from the way they fucked over my contract 3 years ago. its just a shame there will be less competition on the other 4 buggers.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh Belgium!

    Tried Orange twice. First time dumped them for awful customer service, second time dumped them because there's no signal where I now live. Virgin mobile were dumped for the same reason as Orange. O2 got dumped because I got better value for money elsewhere. T-mobile have a good signal here and I've been happy with their customer service. The only network I haven't tried is Vodafone. That was because they sponsored Man Utd when I was looking to change so that discounted them.

    Now I've said nice things about T-Mobile's customer service you know what's going to happen... better start looking for a new network and get my phone unlocked...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky buy

    I think T-Mobile would make a nice addition to Sky for quad play, plus the mobile data.

  22. Kajiki
    Thumb Up


    Does this mean we won't have anymore of their wanky TV ads with their infuriatingly shite da-da-da-di-da jingle?

    Though the award for biggest cocks (shamelessy ripping off Charlie Brooker) in mobile related TV advertising sure has to go to Samsung for this effort

    and Mourinho, obviously.

  23. Colin Miller

    @jules / @dave

    Tesco may be on O2, but Virgin are on T-Mobile.

    Does Richard Branson have the money to take over T-Mobile?

  24. Lupus


    I use my mobile almost exclusively for text messages, and as a PAYG customer mine only cost 3p. Who can do such a deal now?

    My sky is falling and I don't like it!

  25. Phil

    No wonder...

    ...they are in dire financial straits - is there really ANY reason for having about 3 T-Mobile shops in the centre of Birmingham? 1 in the Bullring, 1 on New Street, 1 on corporation street - all within about 400 metres of one another.

  26. Hunde Kotze

    This will be the UK's (and my) loss

    Their customer service is MILES beyond that of their competitors. I'm a T-mobile customer in three countries (UK, Germany, USA) - and in the UK & US, have had complex matters to deal with. They have been generous and efficient in resolving problems. [I have no vested interest here; just a really happy customer that does not want to see them go]. Have been with them in the UK since the One-2-One days (still using the old blue SIM-card!)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's in a name?

    @Anna Log and Richard Cartledge

    I worked for them back in September 1993 when they launched as "Mercury One2one - a joint Cable & Wireless / US West venture". If my count is correct they've had four brandings:

    Big friendly "Mercury one2one" in a rounded font.

    Intersecting lines to form a circle to say 1-2-1 with "Mercury" beneath.

    Red, blue and purple boxes with "one2one" (no "Mercury").


  28. tebiru

    Wonder what the problem is?

    So why are T-Mobile less profitable than the other networks in the UK, I wonder?

    Have to agree with all the comments on their customer service. I lost my SIM card while travelling abroad a few weeks ago, and they called me immediately on my overseas mobile to arrange postage of a replacement. Very friendly and helpful.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to close the doors ...

    The management of TMUK are awful, and have changed nothing for years, which is why they have been left behind. Wouldn't be surprised if France Telecom buy them on the cheap (they are in the sh*t, after all), shut down Hatfield and the 4 on-site Starbucks and merge with Orange. Can't see a tie up with 3, too complicated, Rene Obermann needs to get the cash, would have done it years ago if his background had not been with T-Mobile, nice bit of sentimentality, but business is business.

  30. TeeCee Gold badge

    T-mobile Customer service.

    Here's a short transcript (from memory) of a conversation I had with a T-mobile call-centre a few years ago, just after they'd rejigged their initial menus:

    "Hi there. I've had a bit of trouble getting through. You do know there's no option to get to speak to someone in your new menu structure?"

    "Yes there is. You just press zero at the main menu."

    "Yes, I know that. But I know it from previous experience, tried it on the off chance and was pleased to find it still works. You don't actually *tell* anyone this option exists, it's hidden."

    "No, it's definately in the options list."

    <a couple of minutes of pantomime "oh no it isn't" / "oh yes it is" stuff>

    "Is it quiet round there these days?"

    "It's funny you should say that! We were just saying before you rang how very quiet it's been here recently.".............

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @ MostOfYou

    Do you really imagine a convoy of Artics carring all the T-Mobile kit over the channel to Germany?

    This isn't a 'going out of business' activity, more selling the network infrastructure, spectrum and subs to another network, where they'll be obliged to see out your current Ts&Cs offering you service to 'the same phone' over 'the same' network. Whoever buys the network would be most unwise to try and divest 17 million subs overnight.

  32. Christopher Woods
    Paris Hilton

    Oh fer chrissakes

    I've been a TMUK customer for going on three years now - got an excellent renewal deal, still got my original handset (Vario 2). I've had problems in the past and they've ALWAYS gone above and beyond to solve the problem. The fact their CS is UK based is also excellent.

    All this has secured my continued custom with them and to be honest, I'd probably be happy to have two contracts with them if I ever needed a second phone again.

    Compared to O2 and H3G, with whom I've also had contracts, TMUK wipe the floor with them in just about all areas. If they're 'borged' (I like that verb!) by another telco I will get mad as hell if they drastically change anything related to tariffs or PARTICULARLY data tariffs.

    I agree with the comment about the number of TM stores in Brum centre... There's just no need. The one on Corporation Street is the one I go into; I think the locals and people who know the score with the Bullring go into that one ;) and it's right next to the bus stops! Handy. I can understand the Bullring store (you'd have to be an idiot not to have a store in there, all the other telcos do) but two are definitely enough.

    Don't go TM :( Maybe you should stop spending so much money on virals and reinvest into your network?

    Paris, because even she knows a good bundle when she sees one

  33. Edward Miles

    They were good for value for money...

    ...but shocking for signal. There is no reason I should have been losing signal in the centre of Birmingham, it's the second city of the UK for goodness sake! Moved to O2. Not as great price, but their 2g signal is unsurpassed in my experience. Still need a little work on their 3g network though :)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Three

    IMHO Three UK as a technical entity are very good. Network works very well. Good speed and coverage for me as well as competitive.

    CS are rubbish though, and hence only PAYG and wouldn't get a contract with them for that reason.

    They must be aware of their failings in CS and would hopefully use T-Mobiles CS resources and ditch the indian operation if they bought out TM.

  35. Dave


    That's a scary thought. I'm morally opposed to giving Murdoch any of my money and I don't think my contract has a get-out clause I could invoke if he got his hands on it. And I just started a new one :-(

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