UPDATE 3-Deutsche Telekom US spending plans to hit cash flow

* Says will not reach 6 bln free cash flow target in 2015

* Investments in U.S., T-Systems restructuring to weigh

* Still expects to pay 2014 dividend of 0.50 euro/shr

* Shares drop 3.6 pct, at bottom of sector index

(Recasts, adds analyst comment, updates shares)

BONN, Germany, March 6 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom AG dashed hopes for a recovery in dividend payments by 2015 after scrapping its outlook for free cash flow to spend more money to win customers in the United States.

The former German telecom monopoly said on Thursday it would not reach its original 2015 target of 6 billion euros ($8.2 billion) in free cash flow, an important indicator for dividend payments.

Instead free cash flow will be slightly higher than 4.2 billion euros expected for this year, Deutsche Telekom said.

Deutsche Telekom's U.S. business T-Mobile US Inc, is the No.4 player in the U.S. mobile market with 325 million total connections and aims to add between 2 and 3 million more customers this year.

"We could achieve our original ambition level for 2015 of around 6 billion euros if we were to slam the door in the face of the customer rush in the United States," Thomas Dannenfeldt, Deutsche Telekom's finance chief, said in a statement.

"That's not what we want. The market is offering us the opportunity to achieve a different ambition: value-driven customer growth in the United States that translates into an increase in the value of the company," Dannenfeldt said.

Deutsche Telekom said the lower cash intake would not impact its dividend policy for now, still expecting to pay 0.50 euro per share for the 2014 financial year. It gave no outlook for dividends beyond that.

The company had cut its dividend for 2013 and beyond to 0.50 euro per share from 0.70 in the previous years, saying it needed the money for investments in its U.S. and European networks.

Analysts said there was now less hope for a recovery of Deutsche Telekom's dividend.

"The 2014 guidance appears only logical after having seen the T-Mobile US figures," Adrian Pehl, an analyst at Equinet Bank, said. "The 2015 free cash flow statement is however a major blow to all investors who were expecting the dividend to recover to levels of 0.70 euro per share."

Deutsche Telekom shares fell 3.6 percent by 0945 GMT, lagging a 0.1 percent firmer European telecom index.


T-Mobile US Inc, which is 67 percent-owned by Deutsche Telekom, last year added 2 million new branded post-paid customers after four years of losing subscribers.

The U.S. business, under outspoken Chief Executive John Legere, has been spending heavily on marketing its "un-carrier" programme by offering plans aimed to lure subscribers away from rivals Verizon, AT&T Inc and Sprint Corp.

T-Mobile US promises payments of up to $350 per line to cover early termination fees for consumers who break their contract with bigger rivals and switch to T-Mobile.

The strategy will put short-term pressure on margins because it involves upfront payments but T-Mobile said it would help the company in the long term.

T-Mobile US's turnaround has caught the attention of founder of Japan's Softbank Masayoshi Son, owner of third-placed Sprint, who is eager to marry it with T-Mobile to take on AT&T and Verizon.

The tie-up would create a group with $62 billion in sales, 52 million contract customers and a 23 percent market share. But U.S. officials have signalled concerns about cutting competition in the U.S. market to three mobile players and the impact that could have on consumers and prices.

One-off expenses at T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's IT services business, would also weigh on results, the company said. A company source told Reuters last year it plans to cut around 4,000 jobs out of a total of almost 53,000 at the unit in the next three years.

Deutsche Telekom's fourth-quarter core earnings or EBITDA, excluding special items, rose to 4.06 billion euros, slightly below the average forecast of 4.14 billion in a Reuters poll.

The company expects EBITDA excluding special items to remain stable at around 17.6 billion euros in 2014, also slightly below consensus for 17.8 billion.

($1 = 0.7278 euros)

(Editing by David Holmes and Jane Merriman)