Foreign Influences: Good Call

T-Mobile's U.S. sales are sustaining its struggling German parent, but a big American shareholder isn't happy

In 2001, the former German telephone monopoly Deutsche Telekom took a leap of faith across the Atlantic and bought an upstart U.S. mobile-phone company called VoiceStream Wireless for $46.5 billion. Telekom's management was excoriated for paying an exorbitant price for the smallest operator in a crowded market, dwarfed by giants Cingular, Verizon and Sprint. But the bet paid off. Today, the U.S. arm of T-Mobile, the German mother ship's wireless unit, is still ranked fourth, but it is the fastest-growing part of the $75 billion company and well on its way to becoming Telekom's largest revenue source. In the first half of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!