MOBILE phone operator EuroTel has announced a name change. Starting May 2, the company will be officially known as T-Mobile Slovensko.
EuroTel's three-week branding transition starts April 11 and ends May 2, when the Slovak company re-christens itself. EuroTel's only competitor on the Slovak mobile market, Orange Slovakia, is also part of a global brand name.
According to T-Mobile International's CEO René Obermann, T-Mobile is teaming up with EuroTel because the company is convinced that EuroTel in particular, and the Slovak mobile market in general, represent a good investment.
"EuroTel has around 1.9 million customers in Slovakia. It is a good starting point. Eight out of ten people keep in touch with mobile phones." Obermann added that many people will connect to the Internet via hand-held devices.
EuroTel Marketing Director Marek Vašina says that EuroTel customers will benefit from the re-branding. "Our customers can expect new products, more exciting mobile phones and better customer service."
The re-branding project will cost EuroTel several million Slovak crowns.
T-Mobile International parent company Deutsche Telecom will pick up the tab in full.
Orange Slovakia is comfortable with T-Mobile's entry into the Slovak market. "As market leaders, Orange has been dictating trends in the form of new services and advantages to our customers.
Our corporation has a very clear long-term strategy that is successful," Orange spokesman Peter Tóth told The Slovak Spectator.
Orange also believes that EuroTel's re-branding amounts to little more than a name change. "Our competition [EuroTel] has been, from a structural point of view, a member of the mobile division of Deutsche Telecom for some time now.
"We consider the change of brand name a formal manifestation of its membership in this international group," said Tóth.
Orange itself went through re-branding in 2002, when Globtel joined Orange SA to become Orange Slovensko. Orange Slovensko currently serves around 2.3 million customers.
Slovakia is the ninth country to join the T-Mobile International family. A subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile International controls a vast wireless network.
It has more than 61 million subscribers including its holdings in wireless operators in Poland, the Czech Republic and Russia.
With 49 million subscribers, Orange SA is close on T-Mobile International's heels. Besides owning licences for next-generation wireless networks throughout Europe, Orange has stakes in mobile phone operators in the Middle East.
18. Apr 2005 at 0:00 | Magdalena MacLeod