The incumbent Dutch telco KPN is sending back some of its slightly-soiled bandwidth allocation to the government of the Netherlands. It's requested that the Ministry of Economic Affairs take back ownership of and responsibility for the licensed spectrum in the DCS 1800 and UMTS frequencies that its subsidiary Telfort won back in 1998 and 2000, reports Martyn Warwick.
KPN's fit of pique is its response to its loss of a recent court case. A couple of weeks ago the Dutch agency in charge of spectrum allocation, the Agentschap Telecom (AT), emerged as the victor after prolonged litigation brought by the country's erstwhile state monopoly telecoms provider against a €5 million fine imposed on the carrier for failing to comply with the service roll-out obligations as required by the terms of Telfort's spectrum licenses.
The Rotterdam Court of Justice ruled in favour of the AT and told KPN that it was getting away lightly.
The penalty that could have been imposed is €40 million.
KPN found itself in trouble after it sneakily transferred Telfort's 3G subscribers over to its own network to avoid the costs associated with building the necessary 3G infrastructure as required under the terms of Telfort's licenses that KPN acquired along with the carrier.
Caught bang to rights KPN blustered, threatened, spat the dummy and eventually went all pathetic and like a spoilt kid said, "Take your spectrum then, it's no good anyway".
Commenting on the court's decision the AT said, "We welcome this decision. We will decide on the redistribution of the Telfort spectrum and put it on the market with the planned auction of 2.6GHz spectrum in 2010."
KPN meanwhile is sulking in the corner, sucking its thumb and kicking the cat.
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