Fourth 3G licence tender gets under way

8 Mar 2007

The French authorities have published details of the terms and conditions of the country’s fourth 3G licence tender, writes Telecompaper, with the deadline for applications set as 31 July. It is understood that the basic terms of the auction will mirror those of the first two UMTS licensing rounds of 2000 and 2001, where each concession cost EUR619 million.

Last month the French regulator, the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes (Arcep), said it had adopted a proposal advocating the award of a licence to offer 3G services in the 900MHz band in mainland France, and had 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. 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.

France, Arcep, Iliad (Free)