|Founded||1893 (original; as PTT)|
1 January 1989 (privatised)
|Joost Farwerck (CEO),|
Duco Sickinghe (chairman of the supervisory board)
Digital Terrestrial Television
|Revenue||EUR6.498 billion (2017)|
|EUR882 million (2017)|
|EUR483 million (2017)|
|EUR13.530 billion (2017)|
|EUR3.358 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
|13,021 (FTE, Dec. 2017)|
KPN (in full Koninklijke KPN N.V., also Royal KPN N.V.) is a Dutch landline and mobile telecommunications company. KPN originated from a government-run postal, telegraph and telephone service and is based in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
What is now KPN was first officially established as a postal service called the Statenpost in 1752. In 1799, Dutch postal services were reformed into a single, national system, and in 1807, was placed under the administration of the Ministry of Finance. In 1893, postal system and telegraph and telephone services were brought together to form the Staatsbedrijf der Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie (approximately, "National corporation for Postage, Telegraphy and Telephony"), shortened to PTT, under the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce.
Around a hundred years later, post codes were introduced in the Netherlands in 1977, which allowed full automation of the postal system. On 1 January 1989, the PTT was privatised and reorganized as a private business known as Koninklijke PTT Nederland ("Royal PTT Netherlands"), shortened to KPN or PTT Nederland. KPN remained wholly owned but no longer managed by the Dutch government. Its postal service was called PTT Post while its telecom service was called PTT Telecom, both independent from each other.
In 1992, KPN cofounded GD Express Worldwide (GDEW) with TNT and the state owned postal companies of Canada, France, West Germany and Sweden. KPN later bought out the shares held by the state owned postal companies, owning a total of 50% shareholding of GDEW.
KPN took over its GDEW partner TNT between October 1996 and January 1997. KPN also controlled the national Dutch postal services until its postal division was spun-off and merged with TNT to form TNT Post Group (TPG) in 1998.
The Dutch government progressively privatized KPN beginning in 1994, with KPN listed on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, then reduced its stake to 6.4% in 2005, and finally completed the process in 2006, giving up its golden share veto rights.
In 2001 KPN tried to merge with the Belgian telco Belgacom. It did not succeed because of the objections of the Belgian government.  In 2001, Spanish Telefonica expressed an interest in buying KPN.
The Japanese mobile telephone company NTT DoCoMo holds a 2% stake in KPN Mobile NV. From 2002 until 2007 KPN Mobile provided i-mode services on its mobile phone networks. i-mode as introduced by KPN's E-Plus in Germany in March 2002 and by KPN Mobile The Netherlands in April 2002 was the first mobile Internet service in Europe (ahead of Vodafone's V-live).
KPN partly owned KPNQwest, a telecommunications company equally owned by KPN and the American Qwest Communications International. The company was set to bring together the state-of-the-art fibre-optic networks of the two partners and the Internet services expertise and customer base of EUnet International. The company collapsed in a bankruptcy in 2002.
In 2007 KPN acquired Getronics N.V., a worldwide ICT services company with more than 22,000 employees, and almost doubled its former size. KPN is still divesting parts of Getronics that didn't meet their core interests. Recently they sold a Dutch department of Getronics named Business Application Services (BAS) to CapGemini for about EUR250,000,000.
In August 2013, América Móvil offered to take over the remaining 70% stake of the Dutch telecommunications company for 7.2 billion Euros ($9.49 billion). América Móvil currently owns close to 30% of KPN. The Dutch Government has issued a warning on this proposed takeover of KPN by Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim, as part of his ambition to expand his telecom empire. The plans eventually ended when the "Stichting Preferente Aandelen B KPN" exercised a call option to gain ~50% of the total shares, in order to put up a temporary protection wall against the hostile takeover.
In November 2020, EQT AB offered to take over KPN for 11 billion Euros. Further in April 2021 EQT AB and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners jointly started work on a KPN takeover bid for 12.5 billion Euros.
As of 2021, main share holders are:
Stichting Preferente Aandelen B KPN is a foundation which "was established to promote the interests of KPN, KPN its related companies and all stakeholders, including influences the continuity, independence or identity of KPN in conflict with the interests and threaten to keep much as possible." The foundation exercised a call option to gain roughly 50% of the KPN shares in order to protect KPN against a hostile takeover. This stock was withdrawn on a special shareholder meeting held on 10 January 2014, as per the request of the foundation in November 2013.
In the Netherlands, KPN has 6.3 million fixed-line telephone customers. Its mobile division, KPN Mobile, had more than 33 million subscribers in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, and Spain under different brand names. Through its ownership of several European Internet service providers, KPN also provides Internet access to 2.1 million customers, and it offers business network services and data transport throughout Western Europe.
KPN operates a mobile services network for 2G, 3G and 4G technologies, and is also working on 5G. It also offers LTE-Advanced in limited locations on the 1800 MHz band, whereas the majority of KPN's 4G network operates in the 8/900 MHz bands, which will allow theoretic download speeds up to 200Mbit/sec. The 3G network is to be shut down in January 2022.
On October 1, 2019, Joost Farwerck was appointed as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management.
Most of KPN's operations are in the Dutch telecommunication market.
In the Dutch telephone market, KPN is the owner of the fixed telephone operations (FLO) network and is the market leader in mobile network operator (MNO) under its own brand name and as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) under the brand names Simyo and Ortel Mobile. Defunct mobile subsidiaries include Hi and Telfort.
In the Internet market, KPN provides Internet service under the KPN and XS4ALL brand names. Defunct subsidiary providers include Telfort, Planet Internet, Het Net, Freeler, Speedlinq, HCCNet, Demon Netherlands.
In 2004, KPN also started offering digital terrestrial television in the Netherlands as part of its multi-play services via its subsidiary Digitenne. Since 1 May 2006, KPN offers Interactive Television, an IPTV service based on their DSL service, with the ability to receive Video On Demand and replay your missed TV episodes besides regular TV programming.
KPN Retail is a Dutch subsidiary that owns retail stores branded KPN Winkel.