Starting in the late 1990s wireless communications--and especially the cell phone--mushroomed into a dominant position in the telecommunications industry. T-Mobile is one of the world's leaders in this communications revolution. The American division, T-Mobile USA had more than 30 million customers as of early 2008. Potential investors won't find a stock symbol for T Mobile, however. It is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG and you will need to know the stock symbol for that company to research and invest in T-Mobile.
Deutsche Telekom AG, parent firm of T-Mobile, is headquartered in Bonn, Germany. For American investors, stock in the form of American depository Receipts (ADRs) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the stock symbol DT. On the Frankfurt Exchange the stock symbol is DTY. Deutsche Telekom is also listed on the Tokyo Exchange with the code number 9496.
In 1999, T-Mobile USA began as Voicestream, a division created by Western Wireless following that company's initial public offering. Voicestream was split into a separate company shortly afterward and acquired two regional wireless providers: Omnipoint in the Midwest and Ariel Communications located in the northwestern states. In 2001, Deutsche Telekom bought Voicestream for $24 billion and subsequently changed the name to T-Mobile USA.
T-Mobile USA is headquartered in Bellvue, Washington and provides a variety of telecommunications services that give customers access to more than 200 million people. Products include cell phone and other wireless services, voice messaging, and data system services. T-Mobile USA operates within the United States, but as part T-Mobile AG, is moving rapidly to offering global services.
T-Mobile AG has 120 million customers worldwide. T-Mobile USA is the fourth largest wireless provider in the United States with 31.5 million customers as of the second quarter of 2008 and had $17.1 billion in revenues for the previous fiscal year. The U.S. division employs 36,000 of Deutsche Telekom's 240,000 employees. Overall, Deutsche Telekom had revenues of 62.52 billion Euros in fiscal year 2007 with an operating income of 5.29 billion Euros.
To purchase stock in Deutsche Telekom AG, you must go through a broker as the company doesn't offer a direct stock purchase plan. Keep in mind that the American Depository Receipts traded on the NYSE represent shares of common stock held by U.S. financial institutions overseas. The advantage of this is that it reduces the administrative costs and simplifies transactions. However, you are still responsible for costs associated with the underlying shares, including currency exchange fees and foreign taxes.
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