Rumbelow, who spent eight years at rival mobile networks 3 and Orange, has joined as head of PA with a brief to represent the firm's interests in the UK and the European Union.
He said the role's major challenges would revolve around environmental concerns, mobile phone theft and call pricing, the framework of which is set in the EU. His arrival fills a void that has existed since T-Mobile's previous UK head of public affairs, Paul James, left last year for a similar post at Cable & Wireless (PRWeek, 12 August 2005).
However, Rumbelow's position is thought to carry more seniority. Based in the company's UK headquarters in Hatfield, he reports to UK head of corporate comms Robin O'Kelly.
The Deutsche Telekom-owned business retains Politics Direct for external PA advice, a relationship Rumbelow said he had ‘no plans' to review.
T-Mobile in August issued a white paper calling for a Deadtime Directive to ‘elevate the issue of flexible working'. Intended as a response to the EU Working Time Directive, the paper aimed to ‘encourage employers and employees to take advantage of mobile working practices and to be able to work where and when they work best - whenever and wherever they want to'.
Rumbelow was head of regulatory and public policy at Hutchison 3G from 2000 to 2003 in the run-up to the launch of 3. He was also manager of public affairs at Orange from 1995 to 2000.
He most recently worked as a consultant at Betfair with a brief to help the company overcome commercial and regulatory hurdles to secure a licence in South Africa, a post he relinq-uished in July. He joined Betfair in April last year, having previously worked on fixed-term contracts at Direct Line and EDS.