Britain's only operational 3G mobile network has been dealt a blow after its partner, Dutch phone firm KPN, turned down a request for a Â£150m loan.
The 3 network, controlled by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, had asked for the money to pad out its funding for the massively expensive build-out of its mobile phone network.
But KPN, whose relationship with Hutchison has been stormy, said the agreement under which it owns 15% of 3 does not require it to lend the money.
"KPN Mobile considers that the request for funding... is a purely voluntary invitation to fund," the firm said in a statement.
NTT DoCoMo, the Japanese mobile giant which holds 20%, has already stumped up the Â£200m requested of it, and Hutchison Whampoa said it would increase its own loan to Â£800m from Â£650m to make up the difference.
News source: BBC News