KPN’s Telfort unit facing EUR40m fine for not using UMTS frequency

4 Apr 2008

Dutch incumbent KPN has been cautioned by Agentschap Telecom, the agency responsible for the management of the radio frequency spectrum in the Netherlands, that it faces a fine of up to EUR40 million (USD62.5 million) if it fails launch UMTS services soon, reports Thomson Financial citing Dutch media reports. Telfort paid EUR434 million for a 3G licence in 2000 subject to it agreeing to launch UMTS services within seven years. The operator was acquired by KPN in 2005 and the new owner is allowing the subsidiary to offer mobile broadband services over KPN Mobile The Netherlands’ 3G network. However, the authorities are increasingly concerned the situation is undermining local competition. KPN has responded by saying it intends to use Telfort’s UMTS frequency and will not sell its licence or hand it back.

The telecom agency added that KPN, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile had complied with the requirements for the regulator’s terms and conditions for the use of their UMTS frequency.

Netherlands, Agentschap Telecom (AT), KPN