The liberation of the german telecommunication market
In the past there was only one state company, the Bundespost, but in 1990 a new era started with the Postreform I.
To stay international competitive the old Bundespost was divided in Postbank, Postdienst and Telekom.
In 1992 the Council of Ministers decided to abolish the monopoly on telecommunication services and in 1994 the Postreform II came into force by which Postdienst, Postbank and Telekom on 01.Jan.95 were changed into stock corporations.
In 1996 the law of telecommunication became effective and in November 96 25% of the Telekom-stock were placed on the stock exchange.
On Jan. 01. 1998 the Telekom-monopoly fell finally, since then also other companies can run speech exchange in Germany. However, the way to the fall of the Telekom-monopoly was long and influenced by a lot of judgements against the Telekom, because she fights a lot against the loss of her supremacy.
One main reason for this was the fact, that the telephone lines to the customer, the "last mile", belong to the Telekom and the new carriers have to rent these lines. The Telekom only wanted to accept bundled access, this means the gateway to the other telephone networks should be on the switching network of the Telekom. Usual in the world and demanded from the new companies is the not-bundled access with direct gateway to the telephone lines to bridge the "last mile". This was ordered by the court in Cologne, like demanded from the BMPT.
The prices the Telekom asked for the rent of the telephone lines were too high too. She demanded three times more than international usual charges, by the Bundesminister für Post und Telekommunikation, Mr. Bötsch, were defined average 2,7 Pfennig per minute. That's more than e.g. in France or Great Britain and more than the new companies wanted to pay, but it is much less than the Telekom asked for. The definition of the interconnection-payment was made on the basis of comparisons with international prices because the Telekom was not able to give costings. Against this judgement the Telekom went to court again, until now no final decision was made.
On 01.01. about 50 new sellers started in the telecommunication business. Now there are a lot of different charges, can't be all written down here. But not only between the charges of the Telekom and the new companies, also between their charges are big differences. Normally they are more expensive in the city and in the near area, but there are also city networks beating the Telekom in this area too. For instance NetCologne in Cologne. Long distance connections and connections to foreign countries are up to 59% cheaper.
Up-to-date-information's are available into the Internet under www.connect-online.de, www.focus.de or www.telecom-handel.de .
Because of the not finished negotiations with the Telekom the most companies , like mentioned, offer long distance connections, not before the middle of the year they will offer city-connections, then we can terminate our Telekom-telephone-connection and get a new from ARCOR or o.tel.o or ...
We have 2 possibilities to phone via one of the new network providers: "Call by Call" or "Preselection":
With "Call by Call" the network will be selected by an access number, to dial before the main number. So we can select for every call the seller offering the cheapest prices for this distance and time. To use this access number it is necessary to make a contract whit the seller, mostly it is enough to call the hotline of the company.
For "Preselection" we must sign a contract, because the connection to the network of this company will made instantly with dialling "0". The charges are mostly once more cheaper as with "Call by Call". As far as I know, to select another seller by using an access number is still possible. For the teamwork special of fax machine and "Call by Call" it is possible to install a router box. In this box the charge tables of the companies are stored, if a phone number is dialled, the box automatically dials (dependent on time and distance) the access number of the cheapest company.
A big chance for every customer in germany will be the common phone number for mobile phones and normal phones. We can be reached by phone with one number, wherever we are. For this there will be phones both mobile and cordless phones. At home or in the firm we can phone via normal network with those cheap charges, everywhere else the phone uses the cellphone network. The continuation of this idea is the satellite phone. With this we can reached worldwide with one phone and one phone number, no matter whether in a city or in the desert, on the ocean or on the Himalaya. The most advanced structure has reached Iridium, they want to start at the end of 1998. Other companies are building their network, this means to build satellites and take them into an Earth's orbit. They will start their offers around the year 2000. In the future it could be possible to make a call without any charge. o.tel.o made a test with advertising telephony from October to December 1997. The users had to dial a toll free number and before dialling the main number and dependent on the distance of the other one we will hear ads.
Very cheap calls can be made in the future via internet. Internet telephony is already possible, but the quality is still quite bad.
A lot of mistakes, ... I know.