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The Quam logo

Quam was a wireless operator with operations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It belonged to Group 3G , a consortium made up of the Finnish Sonera (now Telia Company ) and the Spanish Telefónica Móviles .

Company history

Group 3G had three consorts: the Spanish company Telefónica Móviles (57.2% stake), the Finnish company Sonera (now Telia Company ) (42.8% stake) and initially (until it was taken over by France Télécom ) the British company Orange company . Group 3G was based in Munich .

In August 2000 the consortium acquired one of the six German UMTS licenses for 16.45 billion DM . Quam started its network operation in mid-2001.

Since Quam did not have its own mobile network , it cooperated with the mobile network operator E-Plus by using the E-Plus mobile network under its own name and with its own telephone numbers ( MVNO ). In December 2001 there were problems with the interconnection of the Quam networks with the networks of the other mobile operators. Among other things, Quam customers from many networks could not be reached directly because, according to other network operators, Quam had not ordered the necessary connection services in good time. Callers first had to dial a free Quam operator and then let them connect to the desired interlocutor. After it became clear that this situation would continue for a long time, the company stopped selling in the middle of the 2001 Christmas season. Most of the Quam shops, which are located in expensive inner-city locations, only served coffee, which earned the Quam shops the nickname “Germany's most exclusive cappuccino bars”.

In February 2002 Quam received the ironic award "Golden Marketing Flop 2001" from the University of Duisburg .

In July 2002, Quam discontinued its GSM services. At that time, the provider had around 200,000 customers. A later use of the UMTS license was planned. On October 15, 2002, the final end of the offer of GSM services on November 15, 2002 was announced. Quam recommended that its customers switch to competitor T-Mobile , which paid the company a premium for it. The UMTS license remained with Quam because the license conditions of the regulatory authority for telecommunications and post did not allow them to be sold. The licensee had to submit to the condition of achieving a supply rate of 25% by the end of 2003. Since no activity could be found during an examination by the Federal Network Agency , the license and frequency allocation was withdrawn again in 2004 (Ref .: 13 A 2969/07). The Higher Administrative Court in Münster dismissed the action for reimbursement of approx. 8.5 billion euros in 2009. An appeal was not allowed by the Higher Administrative Court, but was allowed by the Federal Administrative Court . The latter was rejected by the approved revision in August 2011: The revocation of the frequency usage rights was admissible as a restrictive specification of Art. 14 GG; neither can a reimbursement be claimed. The Federal Constitutional Court confirmed this decision by decision of June 25, 2015 and did not accept a constitutional complaint for a decision.

The withdrawn UMTS frequency blocks were auctioned again in spring 2010 .

In April 2006 the domain quam.eu was reserved by the parent company Telefónica; the domain is offered for sale (as of January 5, 2020). The German website quam.de is still online, but only contains information that the network was shut down in the night of November 15-16, 2002.


  • Mario Martini: Leipzig locuta, causa non finita: The Quam case and its constitutional wounds , NVwZ 2012, pp. 149–153.

Web links


  1. ^ The applicants for a UMTS license In: Die Zeit May 25, 2000
  2. Background: The winners of the six UMTS licenses In: Heise online August 17, 2000
  3. Mobile communications newcomer Quam ceases sales for the time being , Heise.de from December 12, 2001
  4. ^ The story of Quam , teltarif.de of November 15, 2002
  5. spiegel.de February 4, 2002: Quam wins the Anti-Oscar
  6. Quam: UMTS license withdrawal was legal , onlinekosten.de, accessed on July 31, 2009
  7. Decision of the Federal Administrative Court , bverwg.de, accessed on December 5, 2013
  8. Decision of the BVerfG of June 25, 2015 , bundesverfassungsgericht.de, accessed on August 3, 2015.