Getting Connected in Germany
If you have been in Germany more than 24 hours, you’ve probably seen the letter “T” adorning buildings, television screens and billboards. The “T” comes from Telekom, as in Deutsche Telekom, and the company is unrelenting with its advertising. Deutsche Telekom is Europe’s largest telecommunications company.
With its divisions T-Com, T-Online, T-Mobile and T-Systems, the former state-owned monopolist provides all telecommunications services you could ever wish for, from wireless communications to business solutions. They appear to be so strong in the market that you may believe the only place to get a phone, a cell phone or an Internet connection is through Deutsche Telekom.
Not true. The German market for telecommunication is one of the most open and deregulated in Europe… meaning that there is a dizzying array of choices. Once you get acquainted with the system, you will find it reliable and easy to use. But with so many choices, it is easy to get confused by all the shrill marketing claims. P
rices are also fast changing and rock bottom. In fact, by using some alternative providers, it costs less to call from Germany to the United States than to make a local call within Germany. To make things even more complicated, the utility markets have also been deregulated, greatly improving choices for heat, gas, electricity, etc. In this area, however, your choices are a bit more difficult to identify.