KPN open to network sharing deal for emergency use

KPN said it is willing to open discussions with other mobile operators in the Netherlands on network sharing in the event of a major service disruption. This call from KPN comes after Vodafone's Dutch network suffered a significant outage following a fire at one of its five operations centres in the country.

The fire, which affected around a quarter of Vodafone's 5.3 million Dutch subscribers, prompted the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, to ask operators to discuss backup options during severe service interruptions.

Dow Jones Newswires reported that the Verhagen wants talks to commence shortly on the use of a third-party network during disruptions. The shutdown of Vodafone's operations facility in Rotterdam--which is beyond repair after the fire there--affected calls and data traffic of the Dutch government, among others.

Vodafone has confirmed that it has already begun talks with KPN and the Dutch arm of Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile on finding a solution as requested by the Dutch government.

KPN told Telecom Paper that any network sharing agreement would be complex, involving technical, capacity, competitive and liability issues. The company said any agreement would have to have clear terms and built-in guarantees.

Vodafone Netherlands is said to be considering the matter of compensating its customers.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)
- see this separate Telecom Paper article (sub. req.)

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