UK 3G firm loses £150m loan

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 £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 £200m requested of it, and Hutchison Whampoa said it would increase its own loan to £800m from £650m to make up the difference.

News source: BBC News

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