TMUS skydive


Deutsche Telekomwatch
This release
: #81
March 2019: 76pp
Releases/year: 10+
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EXECUTIVE BRIEF

MANAGEMENT UPDATE

Q4 FY18: USA-fuelled DT gains more ground [p.6]

  • Headline data: targets hit
  • Spend: growth doesn’t come cheap
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, financial summary, FY18
  • Pushing the boundaries
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, capex and spectrum investment development, FY12–18
  • Guidance: DT’s European reboot to get real
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, financial development picture, FY13–FY21

GROUP

Deals: DT takes high-altitude punt on comms-in-the-sky player [p.14]

  • Group looks into thin air for network gains
  • A new layer for Integrated Networks Strategy

Partnerships: DT seeks to widen IoT presence with new ‘ecosystem’ [p.17]

  • DT unveils IoT Solution Optimizer
  • Table: DT’s “global IoT ecosystem”
  • Less than an eSIM: new integrated platform for low‑cost IoT devices

People [p.21]

  • Table: People movement highlights

Supply Chain: DT quiet as Huawei pressure eases (slightly) in Germany  [p.25]

  • Pragmatism versus suspicion
  • DT walking a political tightrope
  • Calming measures, home and abroad
  • The US dimension: Höttges goes to Washington
  • End-game approaching in Sprint–TMUS battle

Technology and Innovation: DT says game on for 5G; first antenna shoots appear [p.31]

  • More 5G trials in Germany
  • Investment catch-up
  • DT takes 5G on the MWC dancefloor

DT gains a friend in the ULE Alliance [p.35]

  • DT and Orange remain homies

GERMANY

Q4 FY18: TDE staying the course on cost-cutting [p.39]

  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Germany area financial summary (as reported), FY18
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Germany area operational indicators, Q4 FY18
  • €750m savings still the main prize
  • IP transplant will be worth the wait

Strategy: TDE sounds emergency alarm on 5G auction [p.41]

  • Fuzzy roaming rules
  • First-mover disadvantage

Commercial: Political cover‑up [p.44]

Partnerships: Drillisch in the game [p.45]

  • Table: Not playing by the BNetzA rulebook

Network: Reply responds to Access 4.0 call [p.47]

  • Has DT’s Four Play been a bit full-on?

EUROPE

Q4 FY18: Gopalan’s regional refresh gathers momentum [p.50]

  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Europe area financial summary (as reported), FY18
  • Table: Europe segment strategic and financial objectives, FY17–FY21
  • Bugs in Poland and Romania suggest reboot hasn’t worked completely
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Europe area revenue by territory (adjusted), FY18
  • Recovery building, but not yet signed off

Austria: TMAT eyes 5G jumpstart after auction gains [p.53]

  • 5G launch “within weeks”
  • A prelude to the main event
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom’s Europe spectrum agenda FY19–20

Czech Republic: CTÚ makes moves towards 5G auction [p.55]

  • Been there, done that
  • Huawei matters

SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS

Q4 FY18: “Solid” year for T‑Sys but change still the focus [p.58]

  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, Systems Solutions financial summary (adjusted), FY18
  • Go-to-market gains
  • Table: T‑Sys’ “re-defined” portfolio structure

USA

Q4 FY18: TMUS powers on but DT eyes yet more gains [p.63]

  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, US area financial summary (as reported), FY18
  • Table: Deutsche Telekom, US area operational indicators, Q4 FY18
  • America first

Strategy: TMUS gears up for 5G; unlimited data plans in store [p.65]

  • TMUS won’t forget its Un-Carrier roots
  • 600MHz on the move
  • Sprint key to TMUS’ bid for 5G gold

FURTHER READING

INDEX

Symbols

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) 68

A

Affirmed Networks 15, 16

Africa 22

Allianz 16

Alphabet

 - Google 14, 15, 36, 37, 67

  --  Android 56

Altair Semiconductor 19

Amazon.com Inc. 15, 36, 69

Americas

 - Brazil 22

 - Canada 27, 29, 44

 - Latin America 22

 - Mexico 22

 - North America 21, 23

 - United States of America (USA) 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 15, 18, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 33, 36, 52, 56, 61, 69, 73

  --  Department of Justice (DoJ) 30, 69

  --  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 30, 69, 71

  --  government 29

  --  States

   ---   Califormia 68, 69

   ---   Kansas 67, 68, 71

   ---   New York 68

   ---   Washington 29

Apple

 - iOS 56

 - iPhone 68

Asia-Pacific 20, 25, 31, 34, 61

 - Australia 27, 28

 - China 16, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 37, 56

  --  Government 25

 - India 47, 51

  --  Licence Circles 68

 - New Zealand 27, 28, 71

 - Singapore 61

 - South Korea 20, 33, 34

Atos 36

AT&T 37, 52, 66, 67, 68, 69

Axiata Group Bhd (TM International)

 - Cambodia (TM International (Cambodia) Co. Ltd./hello) 36

B

Blackstone Group 16

British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) 71

British Standards Institute (BSI) 25, 26, 27

Broadcom 47

C

Český Telekomunikační Úřad (ČTÚ) 55, 72

China Unicom 37

Chordant 18

Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States 30

D

Deutsche Bank 16

Deutsche Telekom 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73

 - Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners 15, 16, 21

 - Deutsche Telekom Strategic Investments 16

  --  Mojio (see separate) 15, 56

  --  Next Generation Enterprise Network Alliance (ngena) 14, 20

  --  Telekom Innovation Pool 14, 34, 47

   ---   BENOCS 15

   ---   Comfortcharge 14

   ---   MobiledgeX 14, 33, 71

   ---   Rtbrick 15

   ---   Stratospheric Platforms 14, 15

 - Europe 50, 51, 52

  --  Austria 23, 28, 50, 53, 54, 72

  --  Croatia (Hrvatski Telekom) 14, 22

  --  Czech Republic 21, 22, 28, 34, 55, 56

  --  Hungary (see Magyar Telekom) 22, 34, 37

  --  Netherlands 10, 12, 14, 28, 36, 52

  --  Poland (Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa/PTC) 23, 28, 51, 56

  --  Slovakia (Slovak Telekom/T-Mobile) 21, 22

  - European Aviation Network 15

 - Executives

  --  Al Saleh, Adel 59

  --  Arnold, Heinrich 22

  --  Bierwirth, Andreas 54

  --  Calian, John 20

  --  Clauberg, Axel 22, 37

  --  Dannenfeldt, Thomas 6

  --  Daub, Daniel 14

  --  El Hattachi, Rachid 14

  --  Fleutiaux, Francois 60

  --  Gopalan, Srini 51

  --  Hischke, Sven 21

  --  Hollaender, Stefan 22

  --  Höttges, Timotheus 6, 10, 16, 29, 40, 41, 58, 72

  --  Illek, Christian 6, 39, 42, 50, 60

  --  Kopf, Wolfgang 43

  --  Legere, John 30, 67, 69

  --  Lehner, Dr. Ulrich 44

  --  Lesser, Andy 22

  --  Nemat, Claudia 31, 32, 33, 48

  --  Ray, Neville 65

  --  Schröder, Lothar 44

  --  Streibich, Karl-Heinz 44

  --  van der Walt, Mardia 21

  --  Wössner, Dirk 40

 - Ex-executives

  --  Munhoz, Ideval 22

  --  Obermann, Rene 7

 - Germany 7, 8, 9, 11, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33, 34, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 61

 - Investments

  --  Magyar Telekom (see separate) 22, 23, 34, 37

 --  OTE (see separate) 51, 52, 55

 - Product and Innovation

  --  hubraum 32

  --  Telekom Innovation Laboratories (T-Labs) 20, 22

 - Products and services

  --  IoT Solution Optimizer 18, 70

  --  nuSIM 19, 70

  --  QIVICON 35

  --  Smart Speaker 35, 36

 - Strategy

  --  Connected Home 35

 - Systems Solutions 8, 10, 12, 22, 57, 58, 73

 - Telekom IT 10, 12

 - T-Systems 7, 17, 21, 22, 23, 37, 58, 61

  --  Detecon 22

  --  Deutschland 23

  --  Slovakia 23

  --  South Africa 23

  --  Telekom Security 22

  --  USA 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 18, 23, 25, 29, 30, 33, 52, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69

Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners 15

DLA 20

Drillisch AG 45

DSP Group 35, 71

E

EADS

 - Airbus 15

Emblaze Group

 - European Telecom 20

EMC

 - VMware 61

Ericsson 25, 30, 32, 67, 69

Europe

 - Albania 50, 54, 55

 - Austria 7, 15, 18, 22, 31, 44, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 72

  --  Rundfunk und Telekom Regulierungs (RTR) 53, 54, 72

 - Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) 23

 - Croatia 18, 22, 52, 54, 55

 - Czech Republic 15, 18, 44, 52, 54, 55, 56, 72

 - Denmark 32

 - Finland 32

 - France 16, 32, 35, 36, 44

 - Germany 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 61, 71, 72

  --  Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA, or German Federal Network Agency) 25, 26, 27, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45

  --  Government 26

 - Greece 31, 51, 52, 54, 55

  --  Hellenic Telecoms and Post Commission (EETT) 55

 - Hungary 18, 22, 23, 31, 34, 52, 54, 55

 - Italy 47

 - Macedonia 22, 54, 55

 - Netherlands 7, 18, 22, 31, 32, 36, 54, 55, 61

 - Poland 15, 18, 31, 32, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 72

 - Romania 51, 52, 54, 55

 - Scandinavia 19, 56

 - Slovakia 18, 52, 54, 55

 - Spain 45

 - Switzerland 20, 23

 - United Kingdom (UK) 14, 15, 27, 32, 36, 71

  --  British Standards Institute (BSI) 25, 26, 27

European Telecommunications Standards Institute 20

European Union 16, 34, 55

 - European Commission 55, 72

ExxonMobil Corp. 44

F

Facebook 22, 37, 69

 - Telecom Infra Project 22, 37, 48

France Télécom

 - Orange 21, 35, 36, 71

G

GCSB, New Zealand 28

GSM Association

 - Mobile World Congress 31, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 43, 71

GSM Association (GSMA) 28, 71

H

Hellman & Friedman 16

HiSilicon 19

Hrvatski Telekom (see DT, Croatia) 14, 22

Huawei Technologies 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 56, 71

I

IBM 22, 23

Inmarsat 15

Intel 35, 37, 67

Intellectual Ventures 69

L

LG Electronics 33, 66

Liberty Global

 - UPC Austria 7, 50, 52, 54

Liberty Global Inc.

 - UPC Broadband 7, 50, 51, 52, 54

M

Magyar Telekom (see DT) 22, 34, 37

 - Executives

  --  Mattheisen, Christopher 23

 - Macedonia (Makedonski Telekom/T-Mobile) 52

 - T-Systems Hungary 22

Market segments

 - Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) 44, 45, 61, 67

 - Multinational corporations (MNCs) 17

Microsoft 17, 23, 61

Middle East 22

 - Iran 29

 - Israel 32

 - Qatar 23

Mojio 15, 56

Mozilla Foundation 69

Mozilla Corporation 69

N

Nokia 30, 32

Nomura 20

Nuance Communications Inc. 36

O

Omnicom

 - DDB 43

Open Handset Alliance (OHA)

 - Android 56

Osram 34

OTE (Hellenic Telecom. Org. SA, see DT) 51, 52

 - Cosmote

  --  Albania (Telekom Albania) 51, 52

P

Panasonic 35

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) 20

Premiere AG 71

Q

Qualcomm 16, 19, 34

Quectel Wireless Solutions 19, 70

R

Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group

Reliance Communications (RCom) 51

S

Salesforce 22

Samsung 18, 19, 33, 66, 69, 71

SAP 17, 58, 60, 61

Scout24 16

Scout24-Gruppe 16

 - AutoScout24 16

Sequans 18, 19, 70

Siemens AG 16

Sierra Wireless 19

SK Telecom 33, 71

Slovak Telekom (see DT, Slovakia) 21, 22

SOFTBANK CORP. 29

Software AG 44

Sprint Corporation 6, 7, 10, 11, 25, 29, 30, 37, 66, 67, 68, 71, 73

Swisscom 20

T

Target Corporation 60

Technology

 - 2.5G 67

 - 2G 67

  --  CDMA 56

  --  GSM 28

 - 3G

  --  Evolved HSPA (HSPA+/I-HSPA)

  --  MIMO 32

 - 4G 27, 28, 68

  --  Long Term Evolution (LTE) 10, 18, 19, 34, 66, 68, 69

 - 5G 7, 10, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 41, 42, 43, 45, 48, 53, 54, 55, 56, 65, 66, 67, 68, 71, 72, 73

 - Fibre 32, 40, 48

 - Fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) 51

 - FTTH 40

 - IP 14, 22, 37, 40

 - LTE-Vehicular (LTE-V) 34

 - Mozilla 69

 - Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) 18, 19

 - OpenStack 48

 - Personal computer 65, 73

 - RAN 25, 28, 32, 37

 - R&D 15, 36

 - SIM 19, 70

 - Smartphone 19, 33, 56, 66, 69

 - SMS 19

 - Spectrum 32, 44, 55, 67

  --  700 MHz 54, 55, 67

  --  800 MHz 54

  --  1800 MHz 54

  --  2100 MHz 54

  --  2300 MHz 54

  --  2600 MHz 54

 - ultra-low energy (ULE) 35, 36, 71

 - VDSL 40

 - WAN 20

 - W-LAN 37, 56, 61

Tele2 7

 - Netherlands 7

Telefonica Group 41, 44, 45, 72

 - Europe 55

Telekom Austria 22, 53

 - Austria

  --  A1 22, 53

Telit 19

Telus 15

Total S.A.

 - Saft Groupe 18

U

United Internet 45

V

Value-added services 45

Venfin Ltd

 - Tracker Network (Proprietary) Limited (TRACKER) 56

Veolia Environnement SA 18

Verizon Communications 52, 66, 67, 68, 69

Visa 20

Vodafone 16, 17, 28, 34, 41, 44, 55, 61, 72

 - Europe Region

  --  Czech Republic 55

  --  Germany 41, 61

X

Xiaomi 23

Z

ZTE Corp. 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 56

  • TMUS CTO expects arrival of “meaningful” 5G during H2 FY19.
  • Software wrinkles still to be ironed out with mmWave micro cells.
  • Unlimited” 5G data plans in the offing.

Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of T-Mobile US (TMUS), gave some more detail on the NatCo’s 5G timelines.

In an interview with PC Mag, he said TMUS was likely to “do something” by the close of the first half of 2019 (H1 FY19). “We’re still trialling and experimenting”, he said. Ray intimated that a more substantial 5G commercial rollout will probably happen during the following six months, however.

One reason for the staggered rollout – rather than a ‘big-bang‘ launch – is chipset availability. During H1 FY19, mobile phone chipsets supporting longer range 600MHz frequencies – which TMUS is relying heavily on for ‘nationwide‘ 5G coverage (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #62 and passim) – are unlikely to materialise. Initial 5G chipsets supporting shorter range 28GHz millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum are more likely to become available, although they do not play to TMUS’s spectrum holding-strengths. The NatCo may well have picked up more 28GHz airwaves in a recent auction of licences in the band, but the outcome has not yet been publicly announced (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #80).

Another pressing issue is wrinkles in mmWave base station software, which Ray conceded still needed to be ironed out. From tests carried out by TMUS on mmWave kit, he reported that “software quality was incredibly poor, propagation was very limited, and the number of customers that you could support on a given radio was de minimis”. The CTO did not expect software “maturity” on mmWave micro-cell base stations until around the end of March 2019.

Ray was guarded about TMUS’ commitment to carrying the first 5G-enabled smartphones. While the NatCo is signed up to Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, there is no hard date on a network launch to support the device. TMUS had still to make a decision, added Ray – speaking late-February 2019 – on whether or not to include LG’s 5G-enabled V50 in its smartphone portfolio.

“We can do [5G] stuff in the first half. We’re going to have devices and we’re going to have network. But how material is it? I don’t think anything from AT&T or Verizon [Communications] will be material until the time frames we’re putting out [H2 FY19]. ” – Ray.

TMUS won’t forget its Un-Carrier roots

If the proposed merger with Sprint is waived through, Ray reiterated a TMUS pledge not to raise prices for at least three years. This presumably refers to existing data plans. Moreover, TMUS said 5G pricing will not be any higher than current LTE plans over the same three-year period.

A more ambitious promise is to offer ‘unlimited‘ 5G data tariffs. It was not entirely clear to Deutsche Telekomwatch if these ‘unlimited‘ plans will involve any speed restrictions once customers go beyond certain limits. Ray indicated that there will be no small print caveats, however.

600MHz on the move

In January 2019, TMUS claimed to have conducted the world’s first 5G data and video call across 600MHz airwaves. The call was performed in collaboration with Ericsson and Intel. During the tests, the teams apparently generated a 5G signal capable of covering more than 1000 square miles from a single tower.

The test was not just focused on lower-band 600MHz frequencies. With an eye on commercial rollout of mmWave spectrum as part of a multi-band 5G strategy, TMUS said it managed a tri-band 5G video call with three users on different spectrum ranges: 600MHz, 28GHz, and 39GHz. There was no mention of data speeds achieved over the respective bands, although mmWave-based 5G connectivity – delivered over shorter distances – should be much higher than at 600MHz.

Sprint key to TMUS’ bid for 5G gold

Prospective TMUS merger partner Sprint announced firmer 5G launch plans, saying it intended to debut the technology in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City during May 2019. Details are nonetheless scant. John Saw, CTO at Sprint, reported test speeds of around 430Mbps, but added that the 5G focus was not so much on data throughput as “customer experience”. The CTO added that Sprint’s 5G network will be part of Google Fi, the search giant’s mobile virtual network operator that piggybacks on TMUS and Sprint infrastructure (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #41).

Unlike rivals, Sprint will not use mmWave spectrum for 5G, but instead focus on mid-band frequencies. Sprint’s resource strength at 2.5GHz forms a key part of TMUS’ turbo-charged 5G master-plan for New T-Mobile – the combined business that would emerge from the deal. If the merger does get the regulatory go-ahead, TMUS has talked up plans to roll out “broad and deep, nationwide 5G coverage” via a multi-band 5G strategy, using 600MHz and 700MHz to underpin nationwide rollout, and higher frequencies to increase indoor coverage and capacity. TMUS claims to already control 200MHz of airwaves across the 28GHz and 39GHz mmWave frequency bands. A key current TMUS weakness is an absence of mid-band spectrum in sub-6GHz categories – but this is something Sprint’s 2.5GHz holdings would fix. “While the other guys [AT&T and Verizon] focus on 5G mmWave on a handful of blocks in a handful of cities, we’re building 5G for everyone”, John Legere, Chief Executive of TMUS, has bragged.

If the merger is blocked, some still see TMUS as in a decent position on 5G resource – especially when compared with its pre-Un-Carrier life, when hampered by spectrum shortfalls in lower frequency bands. Walter Piecyk, Analyst at BTIG, considers that TMUS’s expanded arsenal of low-band spectrum puts it in good 5G stead, regardless of whether or not the Sprint merger went ahead. “[TMUS’] deep and unused low-band spectrum should enable it to launch real 5G before all of its peers. [TMUS] should therefore be considered a primary 5G investment opportunity for investors whether their acquisition of Sprint is approved or not”, Piecyk said.

Image: T-Mobile US

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