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VoiceStream Acquisition

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by NoFlyZone, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. NoFlyZone

    NoFlyZone New Member

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    Am I correct in saying that VoiceStream was acquired by Deutsch Telecom? Or was it some other arrangement?

    My interest is the quality and reliability of VoiceStream's international roaming now that DT is handling that part of the business.

    TIA.
     
  2. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
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    Yes, Deutsche Telecom owns part of VS.

    Tom
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Word is that Voicestream, a division of DT's "T-Mobile," will be completely changing its name to T-Mobile.
     
  4. NoFlyZone

    NoFlyZone New Member

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    Any intelligence on the quality of the international features with DT?
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Not clear what you mean by "international features of DT".

    DT owns part of VoiceStream. VodaPhone (a UK company) is the "other" partner in Verizon Wireless. Both VoiceStream and Verizon are AMERICAN companies. Not sure what "international" has to do with this.

    VoiceStream uses GSM technology, the same cellular technology which is used (exclusively) in Europe and most of the rest of the world. However, only the USA uses the 1900MHz frequency for GSM. Most of Europe and many other places use 900MHz for their cellular systems (some places use 1800MHz). Just because a phone uses GSM does not mean that it will work with every system in the World.

    Now, there are some multi-band GSM phones that DO work in multiple countries. If you have such a phone, you would use VoiceStream as your USA carrier. You would roam with the phone into all of the other countries where VoiceStream has agreements (over 100 and counting!) You would keep the SAME USA phone number and pay whatever roaming rates your plan required.

    Getting back to your question: Deutche Telecom is one of the largest telephone companies in Europe. They provide an extensive cellular network in Germany and several other countries. From my limited experience they are an excellent company. Whether any of their expertise has made it to VoiceStream is difficult to say. The European telephone market is NOT the same as the US -- it never has been, and likely never will be. There are many Americans who would contend that NO German company can successfully operate a consumer company is the US (see Daimler-Chrysler!). I will not get into that argument. I'm sure VS will succeed or fail in the US based on its US management.

    What DT will bring to VoiceStream is MONEY. Hopefully, VS will use that capital to build out their network. You can also assume that DT will use VS as their USA presence. That is, their European customers will be sold on how easy it is to roam to the USA using a dual-band European cell phone. And I'm sure that's true.
     
  6. NoFlyZone

    NoFlyZone New Member

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    Thanks for that great information. Appreciated.

    I had VoiceStream early last year for the express purpose of international roaming. Unfortunately, although they claimed to have roaming agreements apparently few of the actually worked.

    (In my case the "test" trip included France, Greece and Egypt (in the capital cities where there is good coverage) but it did not work in any of those 3 places. To shorten a very long story, after a terrible hassle with their non-existant customer service, their engineering people admitted that the international agreements were not, er, "complete". After 3 months not only did they cancel my 1 year contract, they refunded everything back to the start AND gave me the $399 plus tax back for the phone. Somewhat unprecedented from what I read about these companies.)

    Anyway, I know that DT has excellent worldwide service. I am hoping that expertise will lead to us Americans being able to get good quality roaming worldwide (although I'd settle just to be connected). That was the basis of my rather cryptic question previously. The last thing I need is to sign up and then not have service where I need and where they claim.
     
  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Sorry to hear of your VoiceStream experiences -- but I'm not surprised. I have numerous colleagues who travel frequently to Europe and Asia. They universally have multiple cell phones -- the others homed out of London or Tokyo because of the much better international roaming (both capability and rates).
    I offered several options for using a Verizon account with international roaming. The comments are still in the Central Forum ("Verizon Wireless International Roaming"). Click "Next .." at the bottom..
    Basically, for the casual European roamer, the suggestion is to arrive in Europe and buy a prepay plan with phone. Then you forward your American cell number to that phone number. YOu pay the LD rates for all calls forwarded.
    If you have more than a casual requirement, you can obtain a permanent Europen cell account and forward your US number to it while you are in Europe.
    But FWIW, I know many colleagues who roam TO the US from Europe and Israel and roam successfully on VoiceStream using their dual-band World phones. Perhaps the VoiceStream agreements only work one way. In which case, DT probably knew exactly what they were getting....
     
  8. NoFlyZone

    NoFlyZone New Member

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    Thanks for the superb information, Anonymous. Quite valuable. I've looked at my situation and the only real options are to give VoiceStream a go again or try setting up an account with DT or some other European carrier. Hopefully they have their act together better than VS had.

    Buying a prepaid phone/plan would be a hassle. Although my "test" was in Europe, most of my travel is to Africa so being set up in advance is crucial. Plus, I have no forwardable phone number here in the US so a permanent number is more important so that I don't have to tell a couple dozen people a new number before each trip.

    Perhaps I'll just stick to email for the next couple of trips. Actually, it's nice to be be "out of touch" once in a while!
     

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