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Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 08:21 GMT
Mobilcom writes off 3G investment
MobilCom headquarters
MobilCom was hit hard by its 3G gamble
Troubled German telecoms group Mobilcom has written off billions of euros of investment in third generation (3G) mobile phone networks.

The company reported a 2.9bn euros (1.88bn; $2.9bn) loss for the July to September quarter when the write off was accounted for.

In total, 9.9bn euros was written off, though the dip was less severe than it could have been because MobilCom's former partner, France Telecom, last week agreed to help pay Mobilcom's debts.

Following France Telecom's agreement, Mobilcom booked 7bn euros.

Mobilcom clocked up revenues of more than half a million euros during the quarter.

Its customer base remained stable at just under 5 million.

Cash crunch

Mobilcom has been on the verge insolvency since France Telecom stopped funding the company after a row over plans to axe its 3G push.

Mobilcom has been surviving off a 50m euro loan, which was part of a rescue deal in September in which it cut 1,850 of its 4,200 workers.

In a move to sever links with Mobilcom, France Telecom promised to refinance 7bn euros of Mobilcom's debts.

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"The level of competition throughout all Europe on mobile phones... is far too great"

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