This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.
Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.
T-mobile is a group of mobile phone corporate subsidiaries (all under the ownership of "Deutsche Telekom") that operate GMS and UMTS networks in Europe (Croatia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom) and in the United States. T-mobile also has financial stakes in Eastern Europe. Globally, T-mobile has more than 101 million subscribers, making it the sixth largest mobile phone service provider in the world by subscribers and the third largest multinational.
Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.
T-MOBILE began in 1994 as "VoiceStream Wireless." After spinning off from its parent company (General Cellular and Pacific Northwest Cellular) and having more than 7 million customers, it merged with Deutsche Telekom AG in 2001, becoming T-MOBILE USA and launching service in California and Nevada. After several successes (in 2004 and 2005 T-MOBILE won the "excellent customer satisfaction" award that is given by J.D. Powers and Associates), T-MOBILE began operations in Europe.
Political and Public Influence
In 2008, T-mobile U.S.A. gave $386,500 to federal candidates (55 percent Democrats and 45 percent Republicans). Also in 2008, the company expended more than 5 million dollars on lobbying, which is surprising not just because of the sum itself but also because in 2007 the company spent less than 2 million dollars on lobbying In addition, T-MOBILE sponsors several soccer teams such as: Rotherdam United F.C. Rangers F.C., Celtic F.C., FC Bayern München, West Bromwich Albion, and others. It was also the official global mobile phone carrier for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and sponsored its own cycling team (T-MOBILE team).
The company does have a "code of conduct" that stimulates equality of opportunity for all employees of the company.
17 November 2004: "T-mobile accused of discriminating against union members" 
In 2004, T-mobile was accused of discriminating against union members in the United States. "When the FCC required Cingular to sell a portion of its California network to T-mobile, 100 unionized workers were fired".
Environment and Safety
26 September 2002: "British firms act to boost mobile phone recycling"
The article announces the beginning of a new initiative called "Foneback," which is intended to recycle 15 million handsets every year. The author celebrates the decision of many companies (T-mobile included) of moving the initiative forward."
For 2008, T-mobile has established 21 concrete environment and safety goals:
- 5% CO2 reduction (energy consumption)
- Water usage reduction by 3%
- Reduce business fuel usage and CO2 emissions by company car drivers and cash takers e.g. by utilizing public transport
- 25% decrease in general waste sent to landfill
- 10% reduction in amount of paper purchased for printing
- 50% reduction in contamination of recycled waste
- Increase phone recycling levels to 25k units per month by end 2008
- Improve and update information for customer facing employees by end Q4
- Improve and update HSE information provided to external customers
- Work with HS&E Dept to develop local initiatives to support the ‘Healthy Minds' campaign during 2008
- Review ill health statistics on a monthly basis
- Utilize the new performance management processes to support the high performance organization
- Reduce employee injury incidents by 10%
- Directors to attend HSE training by end Q2
- All managers to attend HSE briefing by end Q4 (replaces Refresher course)
- Support the driver risk assessment and training initiatives
- Comply with all relevant HS&E legal requirements
- Support the HSE Dept during external audits of ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 management systems
- Review departmental HS&E Plan every quarter
- Review directorate HSE plan every six months with Head of HS&E
Number of subscribers by location, as of 2008:
- Austria: 3.3 million
- Croatia: 2.5 million
- Czech Republic: 5.3 million
- Germany: 37.1 million
- Hungary: 4.9 million
- Republic of Macedonia: 1.1 million
- Montenegro: 271,000
- Netherlands: 5.2 million
- Slovakia: 2.3 million
- Slovenia: 1.0 million
- United Kingdom: 17.1 million
- United States: 30.8 million
- Total: 111.1 million
All the names of the members of the board of directors as well as a short biography of each one of them is available here.
In the United States:
Phone: (800) 956-2208
Or you can write to:
6 Camberwell Way
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Articles and Resources
- American Legislative Exchange Council, American Legislative Exchange Council Telecommunications & Information Technology as of July 18th, 2011, organizational task force membership director, July 18, 2011, p. 22, obtained and released by Common Cause April 2012
- Common Cause, T-Mobile Cuts Ties with ALEC, organizational press release, April 8, 2015.