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E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH

legal form GmbH
founding 1992
resolution October 1, 2014
Reason for dissolution Merger with Telefonica Deutschland Holding
Seat Dusseldorf , GermanyGermanyGermany 
management Markus Haas
Number of employees 4650 (2011)
sales 3.236 billion euros (2011)
Branch telecommunications
Website www.eplus-gruppe.de

The E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH was a German mobile operator and part of the E-Plus Group . It belonged to the Dutch KPN Group from 2000 to October 1, 2014 , before it became part of Telefónica Deutschland Holding . At this point in time, E-Plus was the third-largest mobile network operator in Germany with around 25.5 million customers.

Many brands and companies of the E-Plus Group were merged into Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG after the takeover. This also included E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH, which was divided into the sub-areas E-Plus Mobilfunk in Düsseldorf and E-Plus Service in Potsdam , but also independent subsidiaries such as Simyo or Blau Mobilfunk . As part of the takeover by Telefónica, Yourfone was sold to the wireless service provider Drillisch on February 1, 2015 . Major customers of E-Plus were taken over by O 2 Business. Today there is only E-Plus Service GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

E-Plus was also a member of the European Movement Germany .

History and chronology of the company

Logo of the former E-Plus Group

The company was founded in 1992 as E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH and in 1993 received a mobile radio license for DCS 1800 (E1 network) from the then Federal Post Minister Wolfgang Bötsch (CSU). The license holder was a consortium around E-Plus, the main shareholders of which were VEBA Telecom , RWE Telliance , Thyssen Telecom and BellSouth .

  • In 1994, the network was launched in Berlin and seven metropolitan areas in accordance with the DCS 1800 mobile communications standard.
  • In 1997, E-Plus was the first German network operator to offer prepaid tariffs (Free & Easy) .
  • In 1999, the company was the first German network operator to introduce minute packages under the name Time & More . In the same year the WAP and HSCSD services were introduced. In addition to E-Plus, Vodafone offered HSCSD. In the same year, an attempt by France Télécom to join E-Plus failed . The French telecommunications group wanted to acquire the 17.24 percent stake in Vodafone, which Vodafone wanted to part with after the merger with Air Touch. BellSouth took out a loan of EUR 9.18 billion from the Dutch company KPN, thereby securing the right of first refusal. In addition, BellSouth acquired the 60.25 percent stake in o.tel.o (VEBA / RWE), as the shareholders wanted to concentrate on the core business (energy) again. That loan from KPN was then converted into a 77.49 percent stake in E-Plus.
  • In 2000 KPN became the main shareholder of E-Plus. Hutchison Whampoa participated briefly in order to acquire a UMTS license.
  • In 2001, GPRS was introduced for the transmission of packet data.
  • In 2002 the i-Mode data service was introduced . KPN also became the sole shareholder that year. In addition, customer service was outsourced to SNT Germany , a subsidiary of KPN. In January 2002 it was also announced that KPN also intended to acquire the remaining shares in E-Plus as part of a share swap from BellSouth. The complete takeover was then completed in March 2002.
  • In 2004 the commercial UMTS network was launched. E-Plus outsourced the IT infrastructure and application management ( outsourcing to Atos Origin ).
Logo of the former
Simyo brand
  • In 2005, the mobile phone discounter brands Simyo and Base ( flat rate ) started, as well as a cooperation with the food discounter Aldi . The first flat rate for data usage (UMTS and GPRS) was introduced. In addition, a mobile phone service was introduced specifically for people of Turkish origin under the Ay Yildiz brand .
  • From May 2006 to January 2007 Michael Krammer was managing director of E-Plus, succeeding Uwe Bergheim.
  • In 2006 E-Plus was allocated E-GSM-900 frequencies. In addition, the phone and music brand Vybemobile was introduced, for which E-Plus entered into a cooperation with Universal Music Germany.
  • In 2007, E-Plus outsourced the operation and construction of its mobile network (outsourcing to Alcatel-Lucent ). Thorsten Dirks became the new managing director.
  • In 2007 all of the old E-Plus shops (160 items) were transferred to the new E-Plus Shop GmbH (transfer of operations ).
  • In 2008 the E-Plus parent company KPN took over the discounter Blau Mobilfunk and the SMS-Michel shop chain. This gave the E-Plus Group 400 new shops in good locations in shopping areas.
  • On February 1, 2010 E-Plus stopped marketing term contracts and prepaid tariffs under the tariff brand E-Plus. Instead, interested parties are referred to the Base flat-rate brand and the prepaid brands blau and simyo. E-Plus justifies this with greater simplicity in the purchase decision . Existing customers can continue to use their tariffs indefinitely and are promised increased customer service.
  • On September 1, 2011, E-Plus is introducing a landline number that is valid throughout Germany as a bookable option. This is new in that customers of the other mobile phone providers can only use a landline number within a 2 km radius. This option can also be used for various sub-brands of the E-Plus Group, but not for the so-called discount brands.
  • On December 22, 2011, it was announced that E-Plus is dissolving the vybemobile brand because the contract with its partner Universal Music was dissolved on December 31, 2011. The consequence of this is that vybemobile customers can no longer download free music, which means that the terms of the contract have deteriorated. Existing vybemobile customers have an extraordinary right of termination at the end of the year. Since January 1, 2012, vybemobile has stopped accepting new customers.
  • On April 17, 2012, the E-Plus Group launched a new mobile communications discounter called yourfone.de, which offers an all-network flat-rate tariff as well as an Internet flat-rate for less than 20 euros, heralding a new price round in the mobile communications market.
  • Due to changes in the group structure, blau Mobilfunk has belonged to E-Plus since January 1, 2013 and is now a direct subsidiary. On July 23, 2013, KPN announced that Telefónica would take over the network operator E-Plus for 5 billion euros plus 17.6% of shares in KPN. The EU Commission approved the takeover in July 2014.
  • The takeover of E-Plus by Telefónica Deutschland was completed on October 1, 2014.
  • On January 26, 2015, the assets was E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG as part of a change of legal form to the E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH transferred.
  • A domination and profit transfer agreement has been in place with Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG since February 4, 2015 . E-Plus will be dissolved as a brand in the long term.
  • With effect from April 1, 2015, the mobile network (mobile radio towers and associated passive network technology) was sold to the dominant Telefónica Germany and was leased back until the networks were standardized ( sale-lease-back ).
  • The CEO since the brand was integrated, Thorsten Dirks, left the company in the first quarter of 2017.

Market strategy

Since 2005 at the latest, E-Plus has been pursuing a focus strategy on the mobile communications market, i.e. concentrating its offer on services that are particularly popular and sold at comparatively low prices. Innovative products were only offered with a delay if the success of competing companies indicated that investments in them would be profitable. At E-Plus, this strategy resulted in cheaper tariffs for telephony, and the aim was to achieve price leadership in this area. The UMTS network was gradually expanded to cover new areas and expand capacities. Furthermore, the GSM network was expanded to include E-GSM throughout Germany , so that network coverage had greatly improved.

Cellular networks

E-Plus operated nationwide cellular networks in the E-GSM, DCS-1800, UMTS and LTE standards. The GSM network had been in operation since 1994. At the end of 2013, 19,316 GSM base stations and 12,280 UMTS base stations including cellular repeaters were still in operation. According to its own information, E-Plus reached 99.9 % of the population with its GSM network, 84% with EDGE and 80% of the population with its UMTS network.

The company's own UMTS network has been set up since 2004. In addition to normal locations of medium height, such as smaller masts and house roofs, so-called ultra high sites (UHS) were also used. This referred to antenna locations with an installation height of more than 100 meters, for example industrial chimneys or television towers. UHS allowed larger areas to be served with less investment than would normally be necessary. However, this construction method also reduced the capacity, as despite the larger area, the number of calls put through at the same time remained the same. The UMTS network partly contained technology from the former Mobilcom network , the expansion of which was stopped before it went into commercial operation. Mobilcom sold a large part of its technology in 2003 for 20 million euros to E-Plus.

In early 2006, the company built E-GSM base stations on top of or converted existing DCS-1800 stations into E-GSM / DCS-1800 dual-band stations. The E-GSM frequencies were assigned to the two network operators E-Plus and O 2 by the Federal Network Agency in order to be able to supply rural areas better and more efficiently and to improve reception within buildings. This should give the network operators previously only broadcasting on 1800 MHz equal technical opportunities.

The GSM network supports the GPRS service for packet-oriented data transfer. In almost all regions, the EDGE data service could also be used for surfing, which resulted in faster data throughput than with GPRS.

Voice transmission in the GSM network was implemented with the Adaptive Multirate Codec (AMR) and with older cell phones with the Enhanced Full Rate Codec (EFR).

From July 2010 to the end of 2012, E-Plus expanded its data network with the HSPA + data accelerator .

In a study of the data transmission rate in German cellular networks by the Stiftung Warentest in June 2011, E-Plus performed worst. Also in the network test of the magazine Connect in 2011, E-Plus came last among all eleven network operators in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In January 2013, E-Plus announced that it would be the last German mobile network operator to implement LTE by the end of 2013.

At the beginning of March 2014, E-Plus was the last German network operator to introduce LTE in Berlin , Leipzig and Nuremberg . The network operator used the 1800 MHz frequency spectrum acquired by the Federal Network Agency in 2010 . In mid-March 2014, E-Plus activated HD Voice for better voice quality in the UMTS network.

From mid-January 2015, network roaming between O₂ and E-Plus was also tested. In February 2015, Telefonica announced that it would enable national roaming for all customers in mid-April 2015. The aim was to close white spots in network coverage and improve data services in areas not served by LTE.

On December 1, 2015, Telefonica Deutschland announced that the merging of the GSM and UMTS networks will begin in January 2016 and that this should be completed by the end of 2017 [obsolete] . Telefónica switched off the LTE network from E-Plus at the end of June 2016.

Network provider for cell phone discounters

E-Plus was the network provider for several mobile radio discounters such as Aldi Talk , Blau Mobilfunk , MTV Mobile, Ortel Mobile GmbH and simyo , as well as the MVNE Sipgate Wireless and formerly Telogic. After taking over E-Plus, Telefónica took over the cooperation with the providers as well as looking after the customer base.


The E-Plus Group supported the “iCHANCE” social campaign by the Federal Association for Literacy and Basic Education . "ICHANCE" is a multimedia-oriented campaign with the aim of breaking down prejudices against (functional) illiterate people and encouraging people with basic education needs to take advantage of learning opportunities such as reading and writing courses.


Blocking certain landline numbers

In June 2008 it became known that E-Plus - similar to O₂ and Vodafone - considerably restricted the accessibility of the phone numbers of certain voice chat systems. These numbers are normal landline numbers that can be called free of charge within the framework of landline flat rates and which in practice cause a high volume of calls. In contrast to O 2 , E-Plus not only limited the volume of calls, but also completely blocked the numbers concerned.

In February 2009, these barriers were extended to include some providers of business conference calls. Certain providers of calling cards , whose numbers could be used to make calls abroad and to special numbers more cheaply, were also affected . The blocking made it impossible for customers to use these services, but this was covered by the terms and conditions. The fixed network flat rates of most mobile network providers usually exclude "service use" via fixed network numbers. The Federal Network Agency also does not plan to offer bulk services on end user connections.

Company data


Earnings before financial result, extraordinary result, taxes and goodwill amortization ( EBITDA ):

Fiscal year million Euro
2004 700
2005 673
2006 905
2007 1113
2008 1245
2009 1333
2010 1374
2014 1353

Number of customers

December 31 Customers (in millions) Market share
1994 0.030 1.7%
1995 0.196 6.3%
1996 0.520 10.4%
1997 1.005 12.9%
1998 2.044 17.1%
1999 3,800 16.3%
2000 6,600 13.7%
2001 7,500 13.3%
2002 7.350 12.4%
2003 8.206 12.7%
2004 9.505 13.3%
2005 10.742 13.6%
2006 12.654 14.8%
2007 14.807 15.3%
2008 17.777 16.81%
2009 18.987 17.54%
2010 20,427 18.77%
2011 22.717 19.91%
2011 25th 23.91%


E-Plus had branches in Hamburg , Essen , Berlin , Leipzig , Hanover , Kassel , Ratingen , Frankfurt am Main , Karlsruhe , Nuremberg , Stuttgart and Munich . The company's headquarters were in Düsseldorf .


E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG belonged to the Dutch KPN NV from 2000 to September 2014 and was taken over by Telefónica Deutschland Holding on October 1, 2014 after approval by the EU Commission. As a result of the merger with E-Plus, Telefónica Deutschland has risen to become the largest German mobile operator in terms of customer numbers. Since then, the group has been working continuously on a step-by-step merger of its two subsidiaries, E-Plus and Telefónica Germany . On January 26, 2015, E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG was renamed E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH and since February 4, 2015, E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH and Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG have existed as the "ruling Company "a domination and profit and loss transfer agreement.

E-Plus Retail

Logo of the former E-Plus brand Base
Former base branch

E-Plus Retail GmbH , founded in 2011, managed the store, which consisted of its own branches , franchisees and independent dealers and ran the Base and MTV Mobile brands . At the beginning of December 2016 it was renamed Telefónica Germany Retail GmbH . MTV Mobile was also discontinued. It was based in Düsseldorf and was headed by Marcus Epple.

Web links

Commons : E-Plus  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b The company E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH was founded. Commercial Register-online.net, January 26, 2015, accessed on February 27, 2015 .
  2. Press release Telefónica Deutschland: Markus Haas becomes CEO of Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG
  3. Company profile of the E-Plus Group ( memento of October 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) on eplus-gruppe.de, accessed on October 27, 2012
  4. a b c d E-Plus Group remains on course for growth in 2011 and creates the basis for further growth in 2012 with data network expansion. January 24, 2012, p. 5 , accessed on January 25, 2012 .
  5. E-Plus Group starts the new year with a plus in sales and EBITDA ( memento from April 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), E-Plus Group, accessed on April 26, 2014.
  6. BellSouth and KPN take over E-Plus , heise online from December 10, 1999
  7. KPN takes over E-Plus completely , teltarif.de from March 14, 2002
  8. E-Plus and Atos Origin sign IT outsourcing contract ( Memento from November 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  9. http://www.crn.de/produkte/artikel-71150.html
  10. Outsourcing to Alcatel-Lucent ( Memento of August 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), portel.de of February 27, 2007
  11. ^ Message from Golem.de from March 26, 2008: E-Plus takes over the mobile communications discounter Blau
  12. http://www.teltarif.de/vybemobile-ende-jahresende/news/45050.html
  13. http://www.teltarif.de/blau-kpn-e-plus-t Nahrungsmittel-hofman-linnemann-weggang-lambert/news/ 49723.html
  14. Billion deal in mobile communications: Telefónica buys E-Plus , Spiegel online from July 23, 2013
  15. ^ Dimitri Ries: Telefónica-E-Plus-Fusion. Telefónica GmbH merges with E-Plus. In: teltarif.de . Retrieved May 7, 2015 .
  16. a b c Telefónica Deutschland completes the acquisition of the E-Plus Group. Archived from the original on October 3, 2014 ; accessed on October 1, 2014 .
  17. ^ Publication of the commercial register of E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH and Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG. Peoplecheck.de, February 17, 2015, accessed on February 27, 2015 .
  18. ^ Annual financial statements of E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH for the 2015 financial year. In: Federal Gazette , January 23, 2017, accessed in the company register on March 2, 2017.
  19. Telefónica: CEO Thorsten Dirks is leaving the Management Board of Telefónica Deutschland in 2017
  20. E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH consolidated financial statements for the financial year from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013, available from the Bundesanzeiger Verlag
  21. KPN Annual Report 2010 and http://eplus-gruppe.de/mobilfunk/ (Our network expansion activities in numbers)
  22. teltarif.de: E-Plus: Aiming high with UMTS
  23. ^ RegTP: E-network operators should move to E-GSM bands , heise online from May 10, 2005
  24. Network expansion offensive
  25. Flash animation on HSPA + network expansion
  26. Progress in the E-Plus data network
  27. Stiftung Warentest: Taillight E-Plus test, 08/2011
  28. connect. No. 11, 2011, pp. 13-26.
  29. connect. No. 12, 2011, pp. 55-66.
  30. E-Plus also starts in 2013 with LTE , SmartChecker.de, January 21, 2013
  31. E-Plus: LTE can now be used by all customers at no extra charge. teltarif, May 3, 2014, accessed May 2, 2014 .
  32. Now also in the E-Plus network: HD Voice ensures better voice sound. teltarif, March 12, 2014, accessed May 2, 2014 .
  33. http://www.teltarif.de/o2-e-plus-national-roaming-netzroaming-test/news/58777.html
  34. Archived copy ( Memento of March 8, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  35. O2 AND E-PLUS: Telefónica is completely changing over to E-Plus network code. In: Golem.de . Retrieved August 19, 2017 .
  36. LTE from E-Plus: Telefónica is gradually switching off the network
  37. iCHANCE Profi Portal. Retrieved August 2, 2011 .
  38. iCHANCE. Retrieved August 2, 2011 .
  39. ^ Message from teltarif.de of March 4, 2008: O 2 is limiting chat hotlines and calling card dial-in numbers
  40. Restrictions for voice chats apparently also with Vodafone , teltarif.de from October 20, 2008
  41. ^ According to o2: E-Plus also blocks voice chat lines , teltarif.de from June 23, 2008
  42. E-Plus blocks further landline dial-in numbers , teltarif.de from February 5, 2009
  43. a b E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG: E-Plus Group achieves record results in 2008. (PDF) January 27, 2009, p. 3 , archived from the original on November 16, 2011 ; Retrieved March 3, 2009 .
  44. a b E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG: E-Plus Group increases profitability and plans further investments in market and network expansion. (PDF) January 26, 2010, p. 3 , archived from the original on November 16, 2011 ; Retrieved May 27, 2010 .
  45. a b E-Plus Mobilfunk GmbH & Co. KG: E-Plus Group closes 2010 with record results and invests in further growth. (PDF) January 26, 2011, p. 3 , archived from the original on February 5, 2011 ; Retrieved January 27, 2011 .
  46. [http4 // www.bundesnetzagentur.de / cln_1931 / DE / Subject areas / Telecommunications / Market observation / Mobilfunkteilnehmer / Mobilfunkteilnehmer_Basepage.html Federal Network Agency: Subscriber development in mobile communications by networks per quarter]
  47. myMTVmobile opens first shop in Hamburg ( Memento from November 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  48. Düsseldorf District Court, file number HRB 52107, change notification dated December 8, 2016, published on December 8, 2016, accessed in the company register on January 23, 2017.