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Deutsche Telekom achieves majority stake in T-Mobile US

Deutsche Telekom CEO Timothy Höttges said at the company's shareholder’s meeting yesterday that it now holds a majority stake in T-Mobile US, achieving a goal DT has been working toward for three years.

He said that after T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint in April 2020, DT’s stake in T-Mobile US was 43%. But DT wanted a majority stake. And in order to achieve that, it had to execute various financial strategies including issuing some treasury shares to SoftBank in order to increase its stake in T-Mobile US, as well as selling T-Mobile Netherlands and selling its cell tower business in Germany and Austria.

At yesterday’s meeting Höttges said, “We have achieved the majority stake in T-Mobile US the world’s most valuable telecommunications company.” He said the value of T-Mobile US has increased 66 billion euros ($72 billion) since the business combination with Sprint.

In August 2022 Höttges said buying the majority stake in T-Mobile US was DT’s most important strategic project, and he predicted the stake would top 50% sooner than its previous projection of 2024.

Fiber build

At this week’s shareholder’s meeting Höttges also provided an update on DT’s fiber build. Similar to AT&T boosting its fiber deployments in the U.S., DT is also laying more fiber broadband in Germany.

Höttges said, “The fiber-optic build-out is finally gathering steam. Now, some competitors are complaining. They want local monopolies. We are only supposed to build where no one else is building. But for many years people said: We need infrastructure competition. And now we have it.”

He said DT is building “as fast as the diggers can dig for up to 3 million households this year.” Its goal is to pass 25 to 30 million households by 2030 in both urban and rural areas.

Although DT is building the majority of its new fiber infrastructure on its own, it’s also working with partners such as investment companies and public utility companies for some areas. Höttges said DT now has 20 such partnerships in place.

He said DT offers to lay competitors’ fiber cables alongside DT’s. “It is enough to tear up the sidewalk once. But the same should also apply in the other direction.”

This model follows similar concepts in the U.S. For example, the City of Mesa, Arizona, is allowing multiple companies to deploy fiber broadband, and several of them are deploying open-access fiber, which means the company laying the fiber can sell rights to others who want to light up fiber-optic strands for their own businesses.

Speaking of fiber, T-Mobile US this week surprised with the news it’s now offering fiber broadband in three U.S. cities.

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