7/9/2009 9:48:00 AM
T-Mobile slams on the breaks
T-Mobile has instructed Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u and DSG that it does not want new mobile phone contracts until the end of 2009.
The network has reviewed its trading relationship with Phones 4u for the second half of the year.
It has also massively decreased contract connections through Carphone and DSG, a big connector of mobile broadband for the operator.
Sales through other dealer channels remain unchanged.
The decisions are part of a wider distribution strategy set to be announced by the company’s new MD, Richard Moat, as the business looks to cut costs after a steep drop in profits in recent financial quarters.
T-Mobile has been removed from Phones 4u’s websites, including its Dial-A-Phone brand, and Phones 4u staff said the only T-Mobile connections they could put through the system were on the HTC G1.
Carphone has used T-Mobile’s dramatic reduction in new connections as an opportunity to bring Vodafone into its range earlier than planned.
Sources say Carphone and Phones 4u were paid £400 per connection by T-Mobile, around £150 more than smaller direct dealers and distributors.
A spokesman for T-Mobile said: ‘We have succeeded in growing our contract customer base by over 50,000 despite a contracting market.
‘As a result, we have rebalanced our distribution strategy for contract business, but continue to work with Phones 4u and other independent partners to achieve high quality connections and growth in our overall customer base.’
It is understood that T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, is looking to cut costs and improve profitability, with customer additions less of a priority.