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KPN shuns H3G UK loan request

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KPN is still not lending any more money to Hutchison 3G, the greenfield 3G network in which it is a minority shareholder. Last September, the heavily indebted Dutch telco said it would no longer fund H3G, so it's rejection of the March cash call from H3G comes as no surprise.

H3G's service, live in the UK and Italy, is late, by at least a year, and subscribers have stayed away in droves in the UK. Early reports of unreliable phones and battery life measured in hours have not helped take-up either. Many more have taken the bait in Italy. Upshot, H3G has, or had, a funding gap.

H3G issued a £1bn funding call to its shareholders in March to cut it some slack as it builds up subscriber numbers for its 3 networks. The company has also renegotiated loan repayments to banks by one year. H3G knew it could count upon Hutchison Wampoa, the majority shareholder; NTT DoCoMo, the other shareholder, is also coughing up. ®

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