BIPT chairman warns fourth 3G licence could be revoked if launch obligation not met

17 May 2012

Tecteo Telenet Bidco (TTB), a partnership between cable operator Telenet and the Tecteo Group, which owns Wallonia-based cableco VOO, could have its 3G licence revoked should it fail to launch commercial services over its own network by the early part of next year, L’Echo claims. The local news source cites Luc Hindryckx, chairman of the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT), as saying that under the terms of the joint venture’s concession, which was formally awarded in August 2011, it is obliged to inaugurate its own network by mid-January 2013.

The development comes just a few weeks after Telenet announced an extension of its strategic partnership with mobile network operator Mobistar, with the duo confirming that they will continue an existing mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deal until 2017. In revealing the updated contract, it was confirmed that the Tecteo Group would also be included in the agreement, with it also now able to offer virtual mobile voice services over the Mobistar network.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in July 2011 TTB emerged as the sole bidder for the country’s fourth UMTS licence, confirming that it was looking to acquire the maximum available block of spectrum, 2×14.8MHz in the 2100MHz band, offering EUR71.5 million (USD101 million), the minimum bid amount, for the new frequencies. The following month the BIPT named the JV the recipient of the spectrum, noting that the former would be required to pay the fee in annual instalments over the lifetime of its new licence, with the concessions valid until 15 March 2021.