T-Mobile IPO Possible Says The Wall Street Journal


I have to say this news is not exactly surprising given that we have already heard some whisperings of Deutsche Telekom looking to make moves with its US arm. Of course, that might be under the guise of a merger, buyout or in the eyes of this article, an IPO. Way back in September an article surfaced that Deutsche Telekom majority shareholders were looking to take action in order to turn the tide on the DT US division. Things have not been so rosy for T-Mobile in recent quarters and while we await 4th quarter 2009 numbers, the rumor mill is churning yet again. According to the WSJ and unnamed sources, Deutsche Telekom is preparing for a possible initial public offering or spinoff of its U.S. T-Mobile arm, in an effort to assuage shareholders disenchanted with the company’s share performance

Obviously, the words “spin off” raise more alarm than IPO, as an IPO could be a way to raise significant capital. Using such capital to strengthen the network, buy up smaller competitors or move swiftly to launch a 4G network would be most welcome. A spin off however could mean various things and place T-Mobile in a precarious position as how to develop a strategy that advances them in the years to come. We should point out that all of this is speculation and that “unnamed sources” could be anyone in the organization, including the night security guard.

We should also be careful to point out that the article does make note that Deutsche Telekom is “historically risk averse” and that the company may decide that an IPO/Spin Off option isn’t the next step. Unfortunately and much to my chagrin and that of our readers is the line that says a merger with a U.S. rival could also be on the table, though less likely. When I consider the words “merger” with a US rival, I sure as hell hope someone means Sprint, Leap, MetroPCS or someone, anyone other than AT&T bringing about a single GSM operator in the US. I would just cry like a baby if that happened.

What say you on this? Anyone interested in buying T-Mobile stock?

Wall Street Journal

The full read link isn’t available thanks to the BS methods of pay per read, so hit the full article here!

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  • jrperiod

    I’ve watch DT stock for a while now, and honestly i’m not interested. The only way i could get on board with an T-Mobile US IPO is if the current tmo execs were all fired.

    • Jonstonson

      ^ amen.

      • yese

        yess! the execs suck….if anything DT should look for more forward thinking execs rather than nastys sitting in sweater vests acting like they live in the UK

  • rob

    Something has to be done. I, in all honesty would welcome a merger with att. Lets face it, t-mobiles network is not all it could be. I live in CT along the I-95 corridor between NYC and Boston, one of the busiest sections of highway in the country and still have EDGE.

    • Quasar

      ATT’s network is not all it could be either, and they overcharge for what they offer too. I would be upset if T-Mo was sold to ATT.

  • Jay

    LoL another merger rumor, this is what; Like the 100th time this comes up? Seeing is believing when it comes to this subject.

  • T

    I SERIOUSLY hope that T-Mobile does not sell the network, or merge with AT&T! That would be horrible. Sure AT&T has stronger coverage, but they are also over priced money grubbers like Verizon. I wouldn’t mind seeing a merger with Sprint as long as it remains called T-Mobile and stays GSM!

  • FILA

    what the hell does this mean, T-mobile merge with another carrier? Oh I wont handle that very well, I’ll sure enough leave. Or does it mean T-Mobile to buy someone else and have them merge with us?

  • Ariel

    A merger with AT&T would be a horrible idea, AT&T and Tmobile have different approaches to customer needs. Could you imagine what AT&T would do with all those flexpay accounts? AT&T would be amazed that a flexpay user could have a bold 9700 with blackberry service without having to have his credit checked! Not allowed AT&T would say, and then demand a hefty deposit for the “honor” of having AT&T service.

    • jrperiod

      I’m sure it would work the same way most other mergers would. Tmo USA customers would be Grandfathered into what ever plan they came aboard with. Just don’t you dare upgrade or your a$$ out, and AT&T with then eat all your lunch

  • chrisp

    hmm… dark project?

  • rob

    Also i think an IPO would be the same as an att merger. The bottom line would be priority to shareholders not the customers. Maybe the spinoff would be best, where t-mobile would be its own company without D-Telekom.

    • JASON

      actually an ipo would provide t-mobile as an individual company enough cash to quickly expand to 4g and aquire another network like pcs or leap wireless.Also would give investers better controll of the company(ousting current managment) a spinoff would still leave parent company D.T. with 80% controll of t-mobile.As we can all see the German Company does not understand what American really want…

  • The FCC would not approve that, merger with AT&T will not happen at all

    • jrperiod

      Here is my question. Since Tmo-USA is a property of a foreign company(DT) wouldn’t it really be a Sale to AT&T(or anyone else) rather then a merger??? I’m asking not telling.

      Again since Tmo is a property of a company outside the US would the FCC/SEC really care since they care more about carrier monopoly rather then the carrier signal.

      • Lily

        Here is one thing to think about when you consider whether or not the FCC would really care whether or not a merger with AT&T would be a monopoly; Considering the fact that T-Mobile and AT&T are the final, largest GSM carriers in the US that would leave ZERO competition in the GSM market. The only world wide market carriers in the US. Without that competition, there is little room for growth save those that jump ship from CDMA.

        The FCC will consider that fact in and of itself more heavily than any other fact prior to approving or disapproving a merger between to the two carriers.

        On top of that, when we consider a take-over/merger with any company like Sprint or Clearwire, then the company has hundreds of thousands of CDMA towers that will have to be converted to GSM in order to continue to build the network. That is where T-Mobile’s money has all gone, which is why they have abysmal marketing techniques. Where would that extra money come from if there were a merger?

    • rob

      I don’t see why it would be a big deal. Verzion is still out there as is Sprint, the only monopoly would be the GSM.

    • FutureGuyKnowsSoLittle

      Ok, call me an idiot if you’d like… my impression of monopoly laws is that one company can’t control a line of business, not a line of technology. i.e. Being the only GSM carrier means nothing as long as you still have options; while being the only cell provider would be a monopoly.
      Or, another aspect would be if At&t were the ones who owned GSM radio manufacturers. So if they build and sell GSM radios to go in cell phones, then turn out to be the only GSM provider, then you can call it a monopoly.
      But as long as you have other carriers to choose from (regardless of tech they use) and as long as there are non-At&t companies building GSM phones, there’s no monopoly here.
      If what you all said was true, then Sirius-XM would be a monopoly by now.

      So, in the beginning At&t was a phone monopoly and was broken up into many companies, including all the Bells and all the cellular providers. Then, years later, At&t sold At&t Wireless to cingular (who was owned by Bell, formerly owned by At&t corp). Then Cingular and Bell went and bought the ‘bankrupt’ At&t, then renamed the whole thing At&t. Now, connect the dots here and tell me At&t hasn’t been making moves to re-form the old monopoly. If any of your theories about At&t not merging is based on your assumptions that the gov’t doesn’t like At&t, you thought wrong.

  • If there were some mystical AT&T-Mo, I would be worried if I were an AT&T Customer Care Rep or a T-Mobile Retail Service Rep. Not even AT&T execs would be stubborn enough to denounce the onboarding of one of the best customer service teams in service company history to defend their own under-performing care teams. On the same note, T-Mobile RSRs would be forced to put up or get out, and sadly their sales numbers don’t speak strongly.


    I wouldn’t buy T-Mobile stock if T-Mobile paid me to buy their stock. It would be like buying soiled toilet paper.

    T-Mobile could do themselves some good by rebuilding confidence in their marketing strategies. Shore up better phones….not a couple here and there, they need a slew of new phones. They need to work closer with the handset makers and make them believe that selling a quality T-Mobile branded phone will reap profits. They have some very competitive voice and data plans now it’s just handsets, handsets, handsets…and lots of them. GOOD ONES!!! QUICKLY!!! Not like six months or a year from now….but NOW. Deliver a killer myTouch customers drool after….not these rinky dink ones currently available. Spread the love across all mobile OS platforms – Android, WinMo, WebOS…….variety is the attraction. Get out there T-Mobile and be competitive. Go big or go home.

    All this brought to you by a former T-Mobile customer. Still loving my unlimited Verizon plan and my Droid but hoping for day to be excited about T-Mobile again.

    • B


    • thechemist

      I agree. I got with Tmo because I was broke(free phone no credit check). Now, almost 4 years later, I have a great paying job and great credit. FINALLY got excited because of the G1 and now I’ve been sitting here for at least 6 months just waiting for ANYTHING interesting. All their phones suck and nothing exciting is on the horizon. I was just in a Verizon store today too. $200 Early termination fee is sounding not that bad right now…

  • jrperiod

    Here is something i read on another site. How would you guys feel about Google entering the Carrier market, and buying up Tmobile USA?

    I know it would be very unlikely since andriod is on Sprint already.

    • Peter

      If Google buys T-Mobile Network the moment they sign the deal I will cancel my contract and I will switch to another carrier. And I am really serious about it.

      The last thing we want is Google spying on and recording customer conversation in the name of improving network or their product.

      Google has no respect for people privacy. If you use Google Search and Gmail, they already doing this with recording your search history and your Gmail account activity. Why do you need they do same thing to your phone calls!

      • mmaxsooner

        And a wife of one of the google founders runs a dna data bank. O their harmleSs, really!?!

      • FutureGuyKnowsSoLittle

        Thats right Peter, and the moment Google uses any of this information in nefarious ways, we’ll just lay down and take it… oh wait, or will we get a million lawyer army and take them to task?
        Yes, you are so right… I’m a multi-billion dollar company with tons of sensitive information and I’m going to risk losing it all by using that sensitive information.

        And no, yahoo, AOL, Bing and every other site you’ve ever been to doesn’t have info on you, you’re so right. Only google does it.

        I also assume you never go outside, ever, since the Gov’t spies on everyone as well? Because there’s no such thing a computer program called Echelon that listens in on every American’s phone calls to search for key phrases, is there?

        And you don’t ever dare drive because traffic cams are on every light now.

        Nope, only google is bad. Just google.

  • domiiniicano

    It probably would be an Excellent idea for Google to just buy T-Mobile and rename it Google Mobility. That would be the best Google will have an operating system and a network and with Google’s money “Google Mobility’s” network could be built out much faster and really become a giant!

    • Viper

      Then you are combining the people paranoid about cellphone monitoring with those paranoid about Google monitoring their every moves. That’s a dangerous combination.

      • FutureGuyKnowsSoLittle

        The paranoid need to move out to the woods and STFU with their stupid shit.

  • skottikins

    As a TMobile Rep, I really am made nervous by this news. T-Mobile kinda feels like the little carrier that could. i dont wanna be an AT&T-Mobile Rep. SAD DAY! I pray this is just a rumor or that we go public. Merging with a non compatable carrier also seems horried. ( Read: Sprint Aquiring Nextel )

  • CO_Yeti

    I’m guessing an IPO would do well. Tmo USA has a good brand image and room to grow in the market (there are a lot of unhappy Verizon and At&t customers). Unfortunately right now DT’s very conservative (cheap) approach is holding Tmo USA back from making the gains they want to see. Also upper management needs a shakeup. I’ve never seen a company bungle so many new programs (whether internal service based or new products) as Tmobile.

    At&t thing will never happen.
    Buyout of Leap (Cricket) will never happen.

  • Ariel

    Another possible side effect of an IPO is that now you have a lot of dividend obsessed investors clamoring for higher returns on their investments, which will lead to AT&T and Verizon style nickel and dime policies come into the picture.

  • MW

    Come on Google you know you want to buy it.

  • Obviously, the words “spin off” raise more alarm than IPO, as an IPO could be a way to raise significant capital.

    Though the words raise “more alarm” this is the exact same thing.

  • Courtney

    Soooooooooooooo….of course the most important question is…..what in the world would happen to my $5.99 T-Zones plan….?


  • StevenG

    I’d buy stock in T-Mo. There have been bungles, sure, but if a buyout happens, I’d get cash for my stock. If they do really well, I’d gain on my investment. I think it’s a risk worth taking.

  • JBLmobileG1

    I hope Tmobile doesn’t merge with any company where the other company takes over. I’d rather see Tmobile take over the other company. Now… a Google buy out may be good so long as they let current customers keep their old grandfatherd plans. This on the other had might be a bad move because would that mean all phones would be Android based. For me that’s not a bad thing but for some not looking into getting an Android phone… they wouldn’t be gaining any customers. I hope this is just a bunch of rumors and trash talk because its a slow day for news. Hopefully they just continue to roll out the faster network and the Awesome phones that we’ve all been waiting for at a good price. I’d be happy.

    • Chris

      if google does buy T-mo, wouldn’t that mean that google can pretty much roll out their google voice quicker and we can have like 35 dollar plans on VoIP services… lol

      i mean, people are paranoid about google spying on people’s stuff, but then again google is innovative and the paranoid ones do use google search… u are already giving away info about ur IP address and all of the goodies included in a data packet sent when u hit that search button, so why not USE google to further ur advantages… use google maps (free), gmail (free), gdocs (free), voice(free), calendar(free), sites(free) etc…

      remember when people were hesitant over using a car and stick with their horses? remember when people didn’t want to use text and instead call? i mean, google had ideas that theey bring to market and people use them everyday…

      i think people just need to get over their conservative actions… because yes, google stores ur searches with relation to ur IP address and other stuff… but then again, google does not make those public to their advertising people… they are not allowed by law to make any personal information public…

      so the point is, if google buys tmo and entered the carrier business… i think they would bring a lot lower prices for plans than tmo already has…

      • thechemist

        Well said Chris. I say let them watch every single move, every single person makes on the internet. It’s good for direct advertising instead of getting a bunch of junk you’ll never want to buy. Also, if you have nothing to hide, then would you care if someone is monitoring you?

  • just some d?de

    Ooooooo a Google buy out. Didn’t even think of that, that would be interesting.

  • Sanjay

    Imagine what TMO would be with Steve Jobs leading it or Jeff Bezos. There is a need for someone with creativity, vision and guts to go after it.

    • Sanjay

      Maybe put a fresh college graduate in charge in significant role, that would create a job and inject some fresh thinking.

    • FutureGuyKnowsSoLittle

      Sure. Then Steve could give us a phone that didn’t have the latest tech, but a really good UI. Then a year after that he can give us a phone that does have the latest tech, but still missing a few basics. Then the year after that, he can give us a new phone w/ everything mentioned before, plus a few new extras that no one cares about. Then, a year after that, he can give an oversized version of the same phone but with less features and for more money.
      Yes, I guess you’re right, they are rather creative, aren’t they?

  • I would rather have t- mobile fold, than to merge with at$t . Sprint I could deal with the rest?.. Goodbye you are the weakest link…back to the pager.

  • I think because OF the inferiority of the signal strength of tmobile compared to the top 3 and not a lot of customers, made hand set carriers to always give us crappy phone. The day tmobile will start to get more quality phones, that will be the day they will grow a lot more. They will get more customers and then they will grow more. I am beginning to think that there is a lot of politics going on, i find it hard to believe that tmobile is not trying hard to get better handsets than what those manufacturers are giving us. They save the best handsets for the carriers with more customer base and more coverage.

    • nyuhsuk

      The signal strength is a big problem. Where they’re good, they’re pretty damn good. I did notice that T-Mo EDGE does really catch everywhere I go nowadays… I used to not be able to use it at all at my parent’s house but I get a few bars now.

      Just got back from Boston. 3G nearly everywhere there at about 700kbps… once I got off the plane in DC, I got friggin 4+Mbps… ridiculous… AT&T better start pulling their speed advertisements…

  • rfgenerator

    You can take it to the bank that 5 years from now there will only be “the big 2” AT&T and Verizon. The United Corporations of America have determined the way to improve profits is to allow any and all mergers regardless of it’s effect on competition, customer service, or quality of service. We have the best government money can buy. Look for T-Mobile to be sold to ATT maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but certainly my the mid part of the decade.

  • AT&T will screw people if that happen, it limits the amount of GSM options that we will have. Sorry my friend, thats not gonna happen!!

  • efjay

    Google buying T-Mo is a terrible, terrible idea. Why on earth would I want them to have even more access to aspects of my life? Definitely would switch to at&t if that nightmare ever comes to pass.

    • rushmore

      Google wants 3G with as much coverage as possible. The only option is Verizon for the next few years in t hat case.

      Google prefers to leech off of other companies until they drain them dry. Buying companies outright would contradict their current model ;)

  • randall

    If tmo really wants get with it, there are several things that need to happen Now.New managment,New marketing startedgies, better network coverage, and much better handsets.Tmo cant just stand aside and let Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T Blitz them with new comercials, new handsets, and New pricing plans, Tmobiles pricing advantge has disappeared.Yes the fender limited mytouch 3g saw some commercial air time, but its still almost 2 YR old tech.Verizon has Droid and Eris, and now the devour.Sprint has the Palm Pre and pixie Plus, and several newer Android handsets.AT&T has the Iphone, and several new Android handsets coming this Yr, Tmobile has the only the mytouch, and Cliq, not attractive enough to bring new customers.

  • rushmore

    Provide better phone options and stop ripping consumers of with three year old tech in “new” phones. Also, having 3G coverage that has a coverage map similar to an elephant with a few spots on it does not help either.

    If Verizon dropped their prices to 50% the current difference with Tmo- Tmo would be DEAD.

    • 4ty-phive

      ^This is so true

    • skottikins

      Yikes! and worst part is, they can affored such a price slash.

  • FutureGuyKnowsSoLittle

    Sprint sucks in my city. A merger w/ Sprint would suck. talk about stagnant… that would mean us GSM users would be stuck on T-mo’s old network, one that Sprint probably would give 2 craps about, and let us rot while they pushed all the T-mo refugees to CDMA or 4G… which sucks in my city. So T-mo/Sprint, I would not stay.

    I hate At&t. I won’t every give them a penny of my money if i can help it. T-mo/At&t, I would not stay.

    So… assuming, fantasizing, that if one of those 2 scenarious happened, I’d only be left with one choice: Verizon.

  • JBLmobileG1

    To Chris about a Google buyout. While it may seem nice with all those services to use and having Google Voice…. well think about how their customer service is? Can we say pretty much non existent? Look what they did with the Nexus One owners when they had all those issues. The only tech support they had was through email or forums. True they fixed the issue… but how long did it take? Seemed like a month or so to me. Could you imagine having a billing issue or a tower down nearby and trying to get it resolved? Ha! You’ll see your credit from your overcharged bill in 3 months. Or back and forth on your tower issue (we think we know what it is) we should send someone out soon. (A month later)…. same issue and waiting for a reply. No thanks… not unless they show speedy resonse… I would rather have the old Sprint as my customer service.

  • Jaypr9

    JBL not sure if you noticed but I believe Google have seen their mistake with customer service. There was an add floating around looking for a manager call center. I think soon we’ll be seeing phone support for the N1.


    Taking t-mobile public would be a great move. Investors would not put up with current managment and with the influx of new investment would come upgrades to the network and hopefully a merger.

  • SteveG1

    According to the WSJ…

    “People familiar with the matter say: A merger is less likely as it would face regulatory and technological hurdles.”

    “Deutsche Telekom has told outsiders it will spend the next few weeks holding internal meetings about the fate of T-Mobile USA and come to a conclusion in the next two months.”


  • This is for all you suckas that keep complaining about tmobile phones being too expensive!! Read this http://www.phonedog.com/cell-phone-research/blog/smart-shopping-whose-smartphone-plans-are-cheapest.aspx

  • Michael Raap

    As someone that knows T-Mobile from the inside,I know how the suits in Frankfurt that run T-Mobile think, no wonder they lost WW2. That same staid, tunnel vision thinking has caused T-Mobile USA to lose customers. I and many of my colleagues are tired of goose stepping to the whims of the corporate suits at DT. I’m still waiting for I hope they spin off T-Mobile USA, and I say Auf Wiedersehen and don’t let the door hit you in the hintern on the way out of the US.

  • What would be a great idea or just something to hope for, what if Google made some type of mobile division that made more than just a UI. I mean really thinking big on a hole nether scale, just face it google’s android is the reason T-mobile is still alive anyway at least in my opinion. They could really pull mobile devices into the next century. Think about it. T-mobile has a stable customer base, an okay network that could always get better, and what looks like a good relationship between the two companies anyway. Tmobile was my second mobile carrier all the way back in 2002, and the only reason I left was lack of keeping up with the newest toys in 2007. And I got a free phone while working for at&t during the launch of the iphone 1st gen. Now I’m back because of the mytouch when it first came out and I have the N1 in my sights hopefully getting it in the next few weeks. Just think about this for a moment if this was an option and it works out Google would take over the world.