A federal German court rejected Telefónica's appeal to reclaim the €8.4 billion it paid for 3G spectrum in Germany's 2000 licence auctions.
Telefónica was ordered to return its 3G licence after the local regulator ruled that the Quam joint venture--funded by Telefónica Moviles and Finland's Sonera--had failed to deploy a network within the timetable imposed by the licence conditions. The Spanish-based company, which has already failed to win its appeal in two lower courts, has now seen the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig rule against it in a final decision.
Quam had initially offered 2G services starting in late 2001 using the GSM network built by E-Plus, but then announced in 2002 that it would not be proceeding with its own 3G network rollout due to the high Capex demands and poor market conditions.
Telefónica later re-entered Germany with the acquisition in late 2005 of the UK-based O2, group which already owned a 3G network. Telefónica had written off its investment of €4.9 billion in Quam in July 2002.
France increases LTE auction reserve, prioritises rural coverage
EU wants LTE spectrum agreed by 2013; as French operators start tests
Mallinson: Why is LTE still delayed in most of Europe?
When it comes to LTE, Europe drives in the slow lane