T-Mobile can take over Tele2, the European Commission has decided definitively. The two providers have been given the green light for a merger.
T-Mobile Tele2 takeover officially
T-Mobile announced its takeover plans more than a year ago, and may now implement it. This means that Tele2 will probably be incorporated in a few months. Although the European Commission originally still feared a lack of competition due to the takeover, these objections were swept off after an extensive investigation.
According to the government agency, the two providers also jointly have a limited market share on the Dutch market. KPN and VodafoneZiggo are the largest providers in the Netherlands, closely followed by T-Mobile (20 percent market share) and with Tele2 far behind in fourth place with only 5 percent market share. T-Mobile remains the number three after the acquisition.
Partly because of this, the European Commission also does not impose conditions on the takeover. Although T-Mobile made some promises to customers and the Commission to get the acquisition pushed through, the provider is not obliged to comply with it. Nonetheless, the provider says that it keeps the promises. But what exactly was promised, and what is changing for the customers of both providers?
What does T-Mobile promise?
You may have seen them: the billboards and advertisements of T-Mobile with all kinds of promises to the customer. Thus hoped provider goodwill to create the acquisition. They are beautiful but not very surprising promises.
In the mobile field, T-Mobile focuses on three issues. From 2020, the provider wants to be the first in the Netherlands to offer 5G internet. The Tele2 subscription with unlimited mobile internet for 25 euros per month will continue to exist for at least three years, and business customers will have access to the provider’s internet-of-things network until at least 2025.
Both companies also offer fixed internet, although they have relatively few customers. There are also three promises. T-Mobile says, together with partners, to offer fiber optics to two million people at home. In rural areas, such as in the countryside and in small villages, T-Mobile promises ‘nationwide’ fixed internet of 100 Mbit per second. There will also be no price increases on fixed internet over the next three years.
What is changing for Tele2 customers?
If you have a Tele2 subscription now, you can continue to use it for the time being. Both companies will be merged from the beginning of January 2019, but the two brands will continue to co-exist (at least in the near future). If you have a Tele2 subscription now, it will probably still be a Tele2 subscription in a year’s time. In fact, there is a good chance that in a year you will still be able to subscribe to a subscription under this brand name.
Later that will undoubtedly change. Tele2 customers will probably be transferred to a comparable or better T-Mobile subscription, and the network and customer service will also be identical.
You do not have to be afraid of price rises in any case. T-Mobile has, after all, promised that the subscription with unlimited mobile internet will be available for 25 euros for at least three years.
What is changing for T-Mobile customers?
Because T-Mobile is the acquirer, very little is changed for this provider’s customers. Especially in the short term, you will not notice any differences. The pink logo remains, you can keep your current subscription and the customer service and support are as yet unchanged.
However, from 2020 T-Mobile promises to offer mobile internet via 5G in the Netherlands. Within now and a little more than a year you can switch to faster mobile internet. When that will happen exactly and how much it will cost you, is still unknown.
In theory, the acquisition can also ensure faster and more consistent internet via 4G. T-Mobile now also has access to the masts and frequencies of Tele2. Although the two providers in that area already shared a lot with each other, it can provide a lot more coverage and faster internet access in many places.
What changes if you are with another provider?
Even when you are at KPN or VodafoneZiggo, things are changing. Because T-Mobile is now a bigger competitor, the two other providers will probably have to do their best to compete. On the other hand: Tele2 is gone, so as a consumer you have one less provider to choose from.
But it also has major consequences for your mobile subscription. The Cabinet chose to postpone the frequency auction of 5G until after the takeover was arranged. The expectation is that it will not take much longer now. Providers can offer 5G frequencies and then start rapidly with the development of a 5G network. T-Mobile claims to be the first, but KPN and Vodafone will undoubtedly not wait long.