Optical/IP Networks

T-Mobile Preps UK Revamp

5:00 PM -- Big changes are brewing at T-Mobile (UK) .

A new management team will soon take charge of the U.K. operator, and its task, according to Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), will be to "reposition the company." The German operator explained that the U.K. along with the U.S. were the markets hardest hit by the economic slowdown and competitive environment when it cut its first-quarter earnings forecast this week. (See Downturn Smacks Deutsche Telekom .)

Given some speculation in the U.K. this week, the word "reposition" sounds like a euphemism for "sell" in this case.

The operator's new managing director is reportedly going to be Orange veteran exec Richard Moat, which was first reported by Mobile Today and later in The Guardian. His appointment and 17-year track record at Orange has sparked talk of consolidation in the U.K. Although, in a market with five mobile operators, talk of consolidation doesn't seem to be hard to spark. (See 3 & T-Mobile Share 3G in the UK and T-Mobile to Bid for 3?)

Another member of the new management team is chief marketing officer Srini Gopalan, who just joined the mobile operator from Capital One Bank (Europe) plc. (See T-Mobile Appoints UK CMO.)

T-Mobile is the fourth mobile operator in the U.K. in terms of subscriber numbers. Deutsche Telekom has promised "strict cost controls" and better prepay and contract offers to improve the situation at its U.K. subsidiary. (See Carrier Scorecard: T-Mobile and Carrier Scorecard: T-Mobile.)

But the new management team may well be charged with more than devising better tariff packages and cutting costs; it could also be looking to get the best M&A deal for Deutsche Telekom's U.K. asset.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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