Following reports in April 2013 that it was facing the revocation of its licence for failing to use spectrum, the Belgian Institute for Post and Telecommunications (BIPT) has confirmed it has fined Tecteo Telenet Bidco (TTB), the joint venture between cable operator Telenet and the Tecteo Group, which owns Walloon-based cableco VOO. According to the regulator, despite having been awarded its frequencies back in August 2011, TTB failed to launch commercial services over its own network by the 15 January 2013 deadline set as part of its concession. As a result, as well as the financial penalty, the BIPT has said that TTB now has six months to ensure that the infringement is remedied.
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.