Tecteo Telenet Bidco (TTB), the joint venture between cable operator Telenet and the Tecteo Group, which owns Walloon-based cableco VOO, has been formally notified by the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) that its 3G concession could be withdrawn if it does not launch commercial services using the spectrum it was awarded in August 2011. According to L’Echo, the watchdog has pointed to the terms of the licence issued to TTB, which stipulated that the JV should have rolled out service over its own network by 15 January 2013. For its part, TTB has claimed that it is unable to develop a competitive service unless one of the country’s existing mobile network operators agrees to allow it to rent infrastructure so that it can take advantage of its spectrum. Such an argument has, however, been rejected by the BIPT. The development echoes reports from May 2012, at which date the BIPT forewarned TTB that its concession could be revoked should it fail to utilise its spectrum.
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.