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Don't Mention the iPhone

Michelle Donegan

4:00 PM -- If you were expecting T-Mobile International AG to announce a deal with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) for the iPhone in Germany at the press conference today in Berlin ahead of the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) consumer electronics show -- as I was -- you're sorely disappointed by now. Because they didn't. (See 3G iPhone in Early 2008?, Report: Apple Picks Euro iPhone Partners, and Apple-Vodafone Euro Deal Imminent?)

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) CEO René Obermann and Hamid Akhavan, the board member responsible for T-Mobile, would not comment on whether T-Mobile had secured a partnership with Apple. But Akhavan expressed that operators were hoping for some signs from Apple in the coming weeks because they want the device by October to be in time for the Christmas season.

So, without the iPhone, Deutsche Telekom's announcements today seemed, well, rather lackluster. But maybe my expectations were just too high.

Deutsche Telekom officially launched its IPTV service starting from €59.99 (US$82) per month and said its new VDSL network will be available in 27 towns by the end of this year. About 15 million households are already covered by VDSL.

The European Commission has taken Germany to court over the regulatory holiday granted to the German operator for the VDSL networks. But Obermann said that the EC will not stop Deutsche Telekom from rolling out VDSL. "We might have to double check our plans or change our plans, but we will certainly roll out VDSL." (See EC Sues Germany, EC Warns Germany, and EC Threatens Germany With Court Case.)

On the mobile side, T-Mobile is bringing its popular U.S. service MyFaves to Europe. From October, German subscribers will be able to pick five "favorite" people and call them anytime for 5 euro cents a minute. The subscription costs €15 ($20) per month. T-Mobile will launch MyFaves in the U.K. and the Czech Republic in the fourth quarter this year. The mobile operator is also refreshing its mobile Internet offerings with Google search, a new music offering, and a mobile TV package.

— Michelle Donegan, Hard-to-Please Editor, Light Reading

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