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Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A.
Οργανισμός Τηλεπικοινωνιών Ελλάδος Α.Ε.
Organismós Tilepikoinonión Elládos Α.Ε.
Traded asAthexHTO
Founded1949; 70 years ago (1949)
HeadquartersMarousi, Athens, Greece
Area served
Balkan Peninsula
Key people
Michael Tsamaz (Chairman)
ProductsFixedline telephony
Mobile Telephony
Broadband internet
Digital television
Fibre-optic communication
IT Services
RevenueDecrease €3.857 billion (2017)[1]
Increase €174.5 million (2017)[1]
Total assetsDecrease €7.102 billion (2017)[1]
Total equityDecrease €2.589 billion (2017)[1]
Deutsche Telekom(45%)
Government of Greece(5%)
Number of employees
21,305 (2017)[1]
Cosmote TV
Germanos Group
WebsiteOTE Group website
Aerial view of OTE Headquarters (tower)

Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation S.A., usually known by its Greek initials OTE, is the dominant telecommunications provider in Greece. Along with its subsidiaries, is one of the largest telecommunication corporations in the southeast of Europe. OTE Group offers broadband services, fixed and mobile telephony, high-speed data communications and leased line services. In addition, the company is involved in a range of activities, notably satellite communications, real-estate and professional training. At present, OTE companies employ about 30,000 people in 4 countries. Formerly a state-owned monopoly, OTE's privatisation started in 1996 and is now listed on the Athens and London Stock Exchanges.[2]

Since July 2009 Deutsche Telekom is the largest shareholder of the company.

In September 2015, the company announced that they are to discontinue the use of the OTE brand name and that they will adopt Cosmote as their uniform commercial brand for all services. The company chose not to adopt the Deutsche Telekom brand under which name they operate in their Central and Eastern European operations.[3]

Shareholding structure[edit]

Starting in 1996, the Greek State gradually decreased its participation in OTE’s share capital. Following an agreement between the Greek State and Deutsche Telekom, as of November 2008 each party held 25% plus one share of OTE’s share capital. Following a further sale of shares and voting rights, as of 11 July 2011 Deutsche Telekom’s stake in OTE has risen to 40% while that of the Greek State amounts to 10%. Deutsche Telekom raised its stakes to 45% on 21 March 2018 by buying additional 5% from the Greek State which now only holds 5%.

  1. Deutsche Telekom: 45.0%
  2. Hellenic Republic: 5.0%
  3. International institutional shareholders: 29.5%
  4. Greek institutional shareholders: 10.7%
  5. Other shareholders: 9.8%



  • COSMOTE (100%): Mobile telecommunications services provider. The largest mobile network operator in Greece, with 7.9 million subscribers and one of the largest in SE Europe.
  • OTEGlobe (100%): International carrier with presence in SE Europe and the wholesale arm of OTE Group. The company has grown to a regional hub delivering a portfolio of voice, data/IP and capacity services over an extensive network infrastructure. OTEGLOBE is the only carrier in the broader SE European region, which reaches Western Europe through Greece with two fully owned, geographically diverse dual path, multi-wavelength networks, the GWEN & the TBN.
  • OTESat-Maritel (94.1%): Satellite services for maritime communications. It is one of the four major providers of Inmarsat maritime satellite communication services in the world.
  • CosmoOne (61.7%): B2B (Business to business) electronic commerce applications and services – the largest provider in Greece.
  • OTEAcademy (100%): Education and advanced vocational training.
  • OTEplus (100%): Consultancy services on telecommunications and ICT.
  • OTE Estate (100%): management of OTE Group’s real estate assets.
  • OTE Insurance Αgency S.A. (OTE Insurance) (100%) : Insurance Agency. Providing specialized insurance counseling to the OTE Group and to the general public. www.oteasfalisi.gr


OTE owns 54% of the share capital of Telekom Romania (former Romtelecom), the main telecommunications operator in Romania, providing fixed-line services (voice, broadband, data and leased lines) and satellite TV services to the local market. OTE owns also 86.2% in mobile telephony division of Telekom Romania (former Cosmote Romania).

The OTE Group mobile telecommunications subsidiary, COSMOTE, is also present in mobile telephony in Albania through Telekom Albania (97.2%)

Financial data[edit]

OTE Group’s revenues in 2017 amounted to €3,857 million compared to €3,908.1 million in 2016. OTE Group ended 2016. EBITDA reached €1,304 million compared to €1,320 million in 2016.[4]

OTE GROUP 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Revenues 6,319.8 6,407.3 5,958.9 5,482.8 5,038.3 4,680.3 4,054.1 3,918.4 3,902.9 3,908.1 3,857
Pro-forma EBITDA 2,240.8 2,320.9 2,168.0 1,919.4 1,731.8 1,656.9 1,456.3 1,421.6 1,343 1,320.9 1,304
as % of Revenues 35.5% 36.2% 36.4% 35.0% 34.4% 35.4% 35.% 36.3% 34.4% 33.8% 34.2%


In 1931, AETE (Anonymos Eteria Tilefonias Ellados) was founded. This company is widely considered the predecessor of OTE.[5] Before that, the telecommunications of Greece were unified as "Post, Telegraph and Telephone".

Up to 1998, the telecommunications market in Greece was a monopoly. The market was opened to competitors and OTE was gradually privatized. As a result, the Greek government currently holds 10% of the company's stock. Along with the rest of the telecoms market, OTE is regulated by the National Telecommunications and Post Commission (Εθνική Επιτροπή Τηλεπικοινωνιών και Ταχυδρομείων – EETT).

In 2007 Marfin Investment Group acquired 20% of the company, and in March 2008 sold it to Germany's Deutsche Telekom which later increased its stake to 25% plus one vote, matching that of the state.[6]

Following the sale of a further 5% in 2009[7] and another 10% in 2011[8] of OTE’s share capital by the Greek state to Deutsche Telekom, the state holds 10% and DT 40%.


  • The TELEX service becomes operational.
  • The first Greek telephone directory is published.
  • 23 October 1949: ΟΤΕ S.A. is founded.


  • The first fully digitised switching centres (long-distance and hub) of the EWSD/SIEMENS system are established.
  • The first antenna of the Centre of Satellite Communication in Thermopylae (the 6th in Europe) is set up.
  • Laying of the submarine cable Greece-Italy MED 3 is completed.
  • The Greek long-distance telephone network is automated.


  • Acquires GSM License in Bulgaria and establishes Globul to exploit this license.
  • OTE is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
  • OTE acquires an initial 35% stake in RomTelecom, the incumbent telephony company in Romania.
  • ΟΤΕ is listed in the Athens Stock Exchange (IPO).
  • ΟΤΕ expands to the Balkans, SE Europe and the Middle East.


  • OTE makes available new speeds reaching 24Mbit/s.
  • The Greek State sells 10.7% of OTE share capital to institutional investors.
  • OTE and COSMOTE act as Grand National Sponsors of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
  • OTE launches ADSL services in the Greek market.
  • Satellite Hellas Sat2 is launched from Cape Canaveral.
  • OTE becomes the first major telecommunications company to distribute the Olympics (Athens 2004) digitally using fibre-optic cable.


  • OTE acquires full ownership of COSMOTE shares and the company is delisted from the ASE.
  • Deutsche Telekom signs a shareholder agreement with the Greek government, via which, as of 5 November, each has a 25% stake plus one share in OTE share capital.
  • OTE ADSL connections in Greece exceeded 970,000 while OTE network points of presence reached 1.390 countrywide.
  • OTE launches conn-x TV (IPTV) to a limited number of existing clients for a trial period.


  • OTE presents Conn-x TV, based on IPTV technology.
  • An additional 5% of Greek State shares, including voting rights, are sold, bringing Deutsche Telekom’s stake to 30%. Τhe Greek State’s participation is not at 20%. COSMOTE completes Telemobil SA (Zapp) acquisition in Romania.
  • The sale of COSMOFON – owned by COSMOTE – in the Republic of Macedonia is completed.
  • COSMOTE acquires full ownership of GERMANOS, a top telecom retail chain in the broader Southeast region.


  • OTE delists from the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Michael Tsamaz, CEO of OTE Group’s mobile arm COSMOTE, assumes the position of OTE President & CEO.


In 2011 OTE signs agreement with Telekom Srbija to sell its 20% stake in the company for 380 million euros. Also it Launches satellite Pay TV services under the brand name OTE TV. The company signs three-year Collective Labour Agreement with OME-OTE, achieving personnel costs reduction and securing employment. Deutsche Telekom acquired extra 10% of OTE share capital raising its stake to 40%.

In 2012 it completes two Voluntary Retirement Programs. 1,516 employees accept company incentives.[9]

  • Launches VDSL Internet services, with speeds up to 50 Mbit/s.[10]
  • OTE TV subscriber base reaches 100.000, following the continuous strengthening of the platform with new channels, services and HD content.[11]
  • Launches reduced prices of up to 25% for Double Play Unlimited Plans that combine Internet and unlimited telephony to fixed lines.[12]


  • Announces the signing of an agreement to sell its 100% stake in Cosmo Bulgaria Mobile EAD (Globul) and Germanos Telecom Bulgaria (Germanos) to Telenor, the Norwegian telecom operator. The agreement consideration reached €717 million (enterprise value).
  • Announces the signing of a new Corporate Collective Labour Agreement. Salary standards and all previous Collective Agreements terms regarding institutional labour issues remain unaltered as per the 2011 Agreement Changes introduced to the Transfer and Disciplinary Regulations.
  • Announces the signing of an agreement to sell its 99.05% stake in Hellas Sat, to Arabsat, for 208 million euros, plus 7 million in dividends.[13]
  • Raises 700 million euros through 5-year fixed coupon notes, following the successful completion of a bookbuilding process.[14]


  • OTE announced the expansion of its VDSL network with 367 local exchanges and 2,732 outdoor cabins activated in October and extending VDSL availability to 1.3 million households and businesses.[15]


  • OTE announced on 25 September the intention to bring together it's fixed, internet and mobile operations under the Cosmote brand name, introducing a new logo. The new brand was made public on 26 October[16]


  • VDSL rollout continued through the year recording a 46.5% increase year-on-year and reached 219,166 subscribers by the end of 2016. Total number of active broadband connections reached 1.684 million, up by 9.9% on annual basis.


  • VDSL subscribers reached 311,107 and recorded a 61.6% increase year-on-year. In December 2017 OTE launched a premium vectoring service offering broadband speeds of up to 200 Mbit/s, while Cosmote TV subscribers grew by 4.4% on annual basis, to 524,770.[17]


  • Fibre service subscribers, which includes VDSL, reached 531,334 and recorded a 50% increase year-on-year, thus accounting for 28% of all broadband subscribers. Cosmote TV subscribers grew by 3.3% on annual basis, to 541,907.[18]


1. Fixed line

  • Broadband services

OTE offers, since 2003, broadband services to the overwhelming majority of Greece, originally through the Conn-x, and Conn-x@work broadband packages, while current packages are provided under Cosmote Home[19] and Cosmote Business[20] brands. Over 95% of existing telephone connections in Greece can have broadband services. OTE launched VDSL service in late November 2012 offering speeds of up to 50 Mbit/s to residential and business users. Currently VDSL service covers 2 million households or 46% of the Greek population.[21]

  • Voice services

A wide portfolio of telephony products among which packages that combine the monthly fee with prepaid call time for local, national, long distance and mobile calls.

In 2011 OTE unified its pay TV services under the OTE TV umbrella. OTE TV is now available throughout Greece via Satellite or Via Conn-x (IPTV), and offers more than 70 channels, of which about 17 are in High Definition like OTE Sport. OTE TV Via Conn-x offers Video-on-Demand services, OTE Cinema-on-Demand and OTE Club-On-Demand. Since its inception OTE's pay TV service enjoyed rapid growth. However, in August 2017 it reported a surprising fall in subscriber numbers for the first half of the year, with 15,000 fewer customers than at the end of 2016. This represented the first fall since the service began.[22]

  • Business Customers

OTE offers managed network services as well as supply, set up, installation, and software OTE support services. The company develops and offers standardized products and packages that combine telephony, broadband access and data center services.

  • Services for telecoms operators

OTE develops and offers wholesale services to telecoms operators: Broadband Access, Data transfer, Voice and Network interconnection, and Value Added services.

  • International telephony, internet & data

OTEGlobe offers telecommunications services for international interconnection, international telephony, for corporate customers (international VPN), and services for mobile telephony operators (GRX, signaling, MMS Hub).

2. Mobile Telephony
COSMOTE in Greece and its subsidiaries in Albania and Romania offer mobile telecommunications services.

3. Other operations
OTE subsidiaries offer a wide range of products and services, from telecommunications products for the maritime world (OTESAT Maritel) to professional training (OTEAcademy).

The company has announced its intention to grow in new services such as insurances, payments and mobile betting. [23]


OTE’s access network is mainly based on copper (with over 5.3 million pairs) and on optical fibres that will gradually replace the copper network. Greece’s entire broadband network relies on OTE’s access network for all services provided by OTE and all alternate providers. The supported technologies are: ADSL/ADSL2/ADSL2+, NGA with FTTC/VDSL2 Architecture, Satellite broadband internet.

From 2008 to 2011, the company invested more than €500 million in networks and technological infrastructure, but still speeds are very slow due to lack of local centers.

OTE Telecoms Museum[edit]

The OTE Museum of Telecommunications opened up to the public in 1990. It is housed in a 1000 m2 privately owned OTE building, in the district of New Kifisia – Athens. The purpose of the Museum is the research, study and documentation of historical data pertaining to the evolution of telecommunications from ancient times to the present day. The Museum is a member of The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (T.I.C.C.I.H.).



In the 2008 Siemens scandal, Siemens AG officials were accused of bribing local politicians and senior OTE officials to win a multimillion-dollar contract ahead of the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.

In July 2008, OTE filed a lawsuit against Siemens AG with the district court of Munich, Germany, seeking to compel Siemens AG to disclose the outcome of its internal investigations, with respect to allegations of undue influence and/or acts of bribery in connection with contracts concluded between Siemens AG and OTE from 1992 to 2006. OTE was granted access to the prosecutor’s files and in July 2010, OTE expanded its claim and requested payment of damages by Siemens AG of at least €57.07 million to OTE for alleged bribery payments to OTE employees.[24]

In 2010, the chairman of a special parliamentary committee examining allegations of bribery by Siemens AG was reported by local media to have sent a letter saying that OTE's management should face charges for dereliction of duty and for damaging the interests of the state. In June 2010, Greek prosecutors said that OTE's chief executive officer, Panagis Vourloumis, should face criminal prosecution, accused of corrupt practices in the maintenance of network contracts extended to telecom equipment makers Siemens AG, Anko and Greece's Intracom Holdings SA.[25][26] Panagiotis Vourloumis lodged an appeal to the Athens Court of Appeals which accepted his request to appear before the judges in person and to provide explanations for the case. In September 2011 the Court fully exonerated Vourloumis.[27]

Comverse Technology[edit]

In April 2011, Comverse Technology Inc. (CTI), headquartered in US, admitted to charges related to the payment of bribes to employees of OTE between 2003 and 2006 in order to obtain purchase orders. These bribes totalled $536,000.[28]

The management of OTE ordered an internal investigation to identify any possible involvement of executives and to protect the interests of the company.[29]


Area codes can be seen at List of dialing codes in Greece.


  1. ^ a b c d e "FY 2017 Statements". OTE.
  2. ^ On the Athens Exchange it is a constituent of the FTSE/Athex Large Cap index.
  3. ^ Total Telecom (25 September 2015). "Greek incumbent ditches OTE brand".
  5. ^ "In 1931 the predecessor of OTE was founded: AETE".
  6. ^ Deutsche Telekom Archived 28 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Papachristou, Harry; Fragou, Tatiana (18 June 2009). "Greece to sell 5 pct OTE stake to Deutsche Telekom". Reuters. Retrieved 10 November 2009.
  8. ^ "Greece sells 10 percent OTE stake to Deutsche Telekom". Reuters. 6 June 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  9. ^ Imerisia (8 January 2013). "Εξοικονόμηση 80 εκατ. στον ΟΤΕ από την εθελουσία έξοδο".
  10. ^ Techblog (26 November 2012). "ΟΤΕ VDSL, Διαθέσιμες οι υπερ-υψηλές ταχύτητες ίντερνετ έως 50 Mbps".
  11. ^ DIGITAL LIFE (15 October 2012). "Ξεπέρασε τους 100.000 συνδρομητές ο ΟΤΕ TV".
  12. ^ NEWSBOMB (10 May 2012). "ΟΤΕ: Μείωση τιμών έως και 25% σε δύο προγράμματα Double Play".
  13. ^ Naftemporiki (7 February 2013). "ΟΤΕ: Συμφωνία για την πώληση της Hellas Sat".
  14. ^ Naftemporiki (30 January 2013). "OTE: Ολοκληρώθηκε η διαδικασία έκδοσης ομολόγων ύψους 700 εκατ. ευρώ".
  15. ^ "OTE VDSL, Network expansion (in Greek)". 20 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Unified COSMOTE brand for OTE Group fixed, mobile and Internet services". OTE.
  17. ^ "OTE GROUP REPORTS 2017 FOURTHQUARTER RESULTS". OTE. 22 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Ιδιώτες - cosmote.gr". www.cosmote.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 24 May 2017.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Business - cosmote.gr". www.cosmote.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  21. ^ "OTE VDSL reaches 46% of population". Kathimerini. 13 January 2017.
  22. ^ http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2017/08/16/shock-for-greek-pay-tv/
  23. ^ http://www.capital.gr/epixeiriseis/3328017/oi-nees-agores-tou-ote-kai-to-plano-tsamaz
  24. ^ Siemens (11 November 2010). "Legal Proceedings" (PDF). Siemens.
  25. ^ Dow Jones Newswires (21 September 2010). "Greek OTE Defends Management Amid Siemens Corruption Inquiry". Fox Business.
  26. ^ Samuel Rubenfeld (21 September 2010). "Greek Telecom Company Defends Itself Amid Bribery Probe". The Wall Street Journal.
  27. ^ Capital.gr (27 November 2011). "Οριστικά αθώοι Π. Βουρλούμης – Γ. Ιωαννίδης".
  28. ^ Office of Public Affairs (7 April 2011). "Comverse Technology INC. Agrees to Pay $1.2 Million Penalty to Resolve Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act". Department of Justice.
  29. ^ Kathimerini (12 April 2011). "OTE launches internal investigation for corruption".

External links[edit]