Orange marches out of Netherlands
Leaves flatlanders to T-Mobile
France Telecom has sold its Orange NL operation to rival operator T-Mobile for €1.33bn, moving itself right out of the Netherlands market and leaving T-Mobile with hoped-for savings of €1bn once they combine the networks over the next six years.
Consolidation in the Dutch market has been a long time coming. Five network operators for a population of less than 17 million is unsustainable, and back when O2 was selling off its own Dutch limb most observers expected one of the other operators to grab the customer base and merge networks.
Even when Greenfield Capital Partners bought the O2 operation, in 2003, it was expected to sell it on within a couple of years, though it's shown little sign of losing interest so far.
Orange is the fourth largest operator in the Netherlands, while T-Mobile is the third, but even when combined the company will only have 4.8 million customers. T-Mobile also gains Orange's half-million or so broadband customers.
The deal has been approved by the European regulator and the unions, so soon enough there'll be one less operator in the lowlands and one or two fewer radio masts between the windmills. ®
Re Gelukkig Nederlands??
'Gelukkig Nederlands' looks like it has been lifted straight from AltaVista.
What on earth may that mean?
`Nederlands' can only mean `(the language) Dutch', and I don't see how that language can get happy from mobile arrangements or recursively from its butchering.
I won't go into the use of `gelukkig' that grates a bit.
5 network operators unsustainable?
I don't see that 5 network operators in a population of 17 million is unsustainable- Ireland has 4 operators in a population of 4.5 million- of which 3 are the most profitable territory per head of any networks in the EU. Mind you- we held a beauty parade for 3G licences, we didn't just sell them off to the highest bidder as happened elsewhere- and we have mast sharing by law. We also have a number of MVOs poised to enter the market- which should hopefully help the poor beleaguered consumer.
At the end of the day- the market size is irrelevant. The amount of blood which can be drawn from customers before they go elsewhere is. In Ireland's case we don't really have an elsewhere to go to though :( Roll on more market regulation from the EU Commission!