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E-Plus seeking to buy network access from rivals

24 May 2010

KPN’s German mobile unit E-Plus – the only of the country’s mobile operators which failed to secure spectrum in the 800MHz band in the Federal Network Agency’s recent mobile frequency auction – has said it will buy network access from competitors to keep its mobile phone service in the country going, Bloomberg reports. The company said it will approach competitors about ‘white spots,’ or areas where it has no coverage, and will seek network use from rivals at the ‘right price.’ Thorsten Dirks, head of E-Plus Germany, said: ‘We are open to cooperation, (and) if one of them is open, clearly we will talk to them.’ At present, E-Plus’s network covers about 90% of Germany. ‘For the last 10%, we will seek network cooperation for the right price. We are absolutely dedicated to Germany. It is our most important market outside the Netherlands,’ Dirks added. Meanwhile, Niek Jan van Damme, a board member responsible for Deutsche Telekom’s (DT’s) domestic operations, has said that if E-Plus approaches the firm, it would enter into talks with the Netherlands-based company. ‘We have shown in many aspects that we are open to cooperation: we have done network sharing in rolling out of the fixed network,’ the official added. DT plans to start deploying Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology using 800MHz frequencies this year.

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