Wednesday, May 24, 2006

OBSERVATIONS://KPN acquires Enertel, Enertel launches Worldmax

Another smart acquisition from KPN: this time it's business CLEC Enertel.
Some observations on the KPN side:

  • Take out a competitor (albeit small) and add to the business IP market. Similarly:
  • KPN acquires just about anything that doesn't bring them into regulatory problems, even if it's close sometimes: Telfort (cellular), Nozema (broadcast services, DVB-T, DVB-H), casaNet (FTTH network), several ISPs (Speedlinq, hcc!net, Tiscali subs, Cistron subs, Freeler, Trefpunt), hotspots (Attingo at Schiphol, HubHop), Kral (stores), parts of KPNQwest.
  • Other, small acuisitions: E-Zorg (health services) and eYe-Display/NN Solutions (narrowcasting). Also, expect KPN to expand its ICT portfolio.
  • If OPTA's mission is to reduce KPN's size (as far as KPN isn't doing this itself: moving to IP, integrating and laying off), this strategy could prove a double-edged sword: if KPN is growing at the revenue side (volume), something must be taken away at the tariff side (price).
  • KPN does not buy the WiMAX part of Enertel, presumably because it expects regulatory issues? (see also Telefonica's attempts at buying Iberbanda).

Having a pre-WiMAX network in the 5 largest Dutch cities, Enertel Wireless (now Worldmax, a Greenfield/Intel joint-venture) will focus on WiMAX. Targeted is a nationwide roll-out in 1-3 years (depending on demand as well as availability of equipment and handsets). This news came out only yesterday.
Some observations on the Worldmax side:

  • Worldmax can move into higher gear. WiMAX is an exciting opportunity. Mobility and VoIP can be included.
  • The company can live up to its original promise of having a nationwide network (even if 2006 is a stretch).
  • It is still unclear what Casema plans to do with the WLL-license it recently bought from Versatel/Tele2. It expires next year.

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