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Euronews: Dutch Auction Brings 4G Windfall

Paul Rainford

The Dutch 4G auction, Telenor ASA (Nasdaq: TELN), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Orange Spain start the week in today's trawl of the EMEA headlines.

  • The Dutch government will get a €3.4 billion (US$4.5 billion) windfall from the 4G spectrum auction that ended on Friday. The total amount raised for the government's coffers is far higher than the €400-€500 million ($526-$657 million) that was originally anticipated before the auction started on Oct. 31. Hailed as the largest spectrum auction in the country's history, licenses were up for grabs in the following frequency bands: 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz. The winning bidders were KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN), T-Mobile Netherlands , Tele2 Netherlands Holding NV and Vodafone Netherlands . Immediately following the auction results, KPN announced that it would not pay a dividend for 2012 and would cut its dividend in 2013 to cover the €1.35 billion ($1.78 billion) it paid for its licenses. (See KPN Pays €1.35B for 4G Spectrum, Vodafone Pays €1.4B for Dutch 4G Licenses and Tele2 Gets Dutch 4G Spectrum.)

  • Nordic operator Telenor has signed an agreement with Microsoft to sell licenses for the software giant's Office 365 and other cloud-based services. Telenor Norway says it will be the first to offer the package to its business customers and that it will offer a telephony service within Microsoft's Lync Online service. (See Telenor, Microsoft Integrate Cloud Services.)

  • Tunisiana , Tunisia's largest mobile operator, has contracted Alcatel-Lucent to build a fixed broadband access network, with commercial services due to launch in 2013. Included in the deal are AlcaLu's GPON and VDSL2 broadband access products.

  • Orange Spain has acquired Simyo, a Spanish MVNO previously in the hands of Dutch incumbent KPN. Simyo has around 380,000 customers, and its acquisition takes Orange's mobile customer base in Spain to 12.2 million. Financial details of the deal were not released. (See Orange Buys Spanish MVNO.)

  • A new powerhouse in Portuguese telecom will be created if the proposed merger of Sonaecom 's mobile unit Optimus and ZON Multimédia goes ahead, reports Reuters. Angolan investor Isabel dos Santos owns almost 30 percent of Zon.

    — Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, Light Reading

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