9 Feb 2006
Dutch operators Royal KPN and Telfort say they have suspended their 3G network rollout programmes to assess the implications of a study into the possible synergies that could be realised by integrating their networks. KPN offered to pay up to EUR1.12 billion (USD1.378 billion) for Telfort in June 2005 and signed the deal the following October. Although Telfort, one of the Netherlands’ smaller wireless operators, will remain as an independent unit under KPN’s control, the two firms believe there are savings to be made in combining their mobile networks. In a press conference yesterday, Telfort’s managing director Stephanie Harmsen confirmed that the results of the network integration study was expected ‘within several months’, but declined to comment on the nature of the possible cost savings to be made. Telfort has contracted Chinese manufacturer Huawei Technologies to upgrade its network with HSDPA technology, while KPN has selected Ericsson to roll out its 3G network, which has coverage of 70% of the population.