In Europe, two of the continent's smaller incumbent operators are taking their pan-European networks and teaming up to take on the wholesale market. KPN and Telekom Austria Group have announced a partnership that will combine the resources of their complementary network footprints.
The joint footprint will feature 173 PoPs across 35 countries, and will be hooked up in Frankfurt with a backup in Vienna. It will feature interconnection of Ethernet, IP VPN, Wavelengths, and IPT services. TAG's strong connectivity in Eastern Europe goes well with KPN's Western European footprint. Alone they each offered partial coverage, but combined they blanket the continent .
KPN and TAG have another thing in common of course, a big minority shareholder by the name of America Movil and its billionaire owner Carlos Slim. The common wisdom is that Slim's interest in both is all about wireless, but could it be that he's helping bring them together for the wholesale backbone opportunity? Probably nothing that dramatic, but you never know.
I wonder how aggressive this new combined KPN-TAG network offering will be in taking on the pan-European networking market. Is this offense or defense?
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