Telefónica Deutschland may have ruled out the sale of any more former E-Plus assets when it closed the sale of yourfone to Drillisch in January, but reports suggest that several mobile brands gained through the E-Plus acquisition could be dropped as the German operator completes the process of merging the two mobile network operators.
According to German publication W&V, Telefónica Deutschland plans to drop the E-Plus, BASE and Simyo brands as it simplifies its portfolio, although the Fonic brand looks set to remain for the time being.
That would leave Telefónica Deutschland subscribers with a choice of only O2 and Blau.de, and would mark the end of what many have regarded as a highly innovative multi-branding strategy introduced by E-Plus and its former parent company KPN in Germany.
KPN uses multiple mobile brands in its operating markets to good effect, allowing it to focus on diverse target groups without detracting from the parent brand. In Germany, KPN used several mobile brands under the umbrella E-Plus brand including BASE, Simyo and others, most recently launching yourfone in April 2012 as a secondary brand to attract smartphone users with a range of data-focused tariffs.
While the Dutch operator continues to pursue that strategy in the Netherlands and Belgium, where it markets mobile services under Simyo, BASE and Hi, new E-Plus parent Telefónica Deutschland seems to prefer a more streamlined branding strategy for Germany.
Telefónica Deutschland did not respond to requests for comment before publication. W&V noted that the company said only that it is working on a repositioning of the individual brands, in order to avoid overlaps in sales.
Earlier in March, Telefónica Deutschland confirmed that the E-Plus and O2 Germany networks would be combined from mid-April 2015, enabling nationwide national roaming for 3G users.
Telefónica Deutschland said it intends to complete the integration of the two networks within the next five years. It added that it now covers around 62 per cent of the population with its LTE network, and is targeting outdoor LTE-coverage of up to 90 per cent by the end of 2016.
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