The French regulator, the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (Arcep), says it adopted a proposal advocating the award of a licence to offer 3G services in the 900MHz band in mainland France, and has sent its recommendation to the Minister Delegate for Industry. The regulator’s decision follows a public consultation carried out between October and November 2006 in which the industry expressed interest in the allocation of a fourth UMTS licence.
Arcep says it plans to auction off a fourth UMTS mobile telecom licence in 2007 in a bid to introduce greater levels of competition in the local market. The watchdog said 21 companies participated in the consultation, of which ‘several’ indicated ‘expressions of interest’ in the concession. One of these is understood to be the domestic ISP Iliad (Free) which in November 2006 confirmed it would be interested in buying the fourth and final licence.