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Global Telecoms Business
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KPN increases international focus to boost revenues

01 May 1999

KPN, the incumbent in the Netherlands, is under more and more pressure domestically, as new entrants use the market as a stepping stone into Europe. Recently the operator has focused more on pan-European and other international opportunities, forming a JV with Qwest. Chairman Wim Dik talks to Mark Holmes about KPN's plans for growth.

The Dutch market was fully liberalized in June 1997, six months before the EU deadline. Liberalization led to a sharp decline in prices and a number of decisions by the regulator to promote competition, that were contested by KPN, the incumbent. A number of new entrants have been aggressively seeking market share, as Chris Hoare, a telecoms equity analyst at HSBC, explains: "The Dutch fixed market is very competitive and the regulator is tough. There are a number of new entrants. A lot of companies see Holland as a bridgehead into Europe, which is unfortunate for the likes of KPN, because this means that they are going to have to compete with all these guys. So there are a lot of competitors, as well as a tough regulatory environment."

Hoare believes that their growth prospects may be constrained by the nature of the market they are competing in: "I think...






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