Iliad (Free) says quest for fourth 3G licence not over yet

11 Oct 2007

French internet service provider Free, part of the Iliad Group, says it is still interested in obtaining the country’s fourth 3G licence, despite having its bid turned down by the telecoms regulator Arcep. Thomson Financial reports that notwithstanding the set-back, Free – the sole candidate for the concession – says it ‘would like the authorities to put in place the conditions that would permit the emergence of a fourth mobile operator’ in the country. Arcep turned down the company’s application saying it had not met the required financial conditions. It is understood the bid stumbled as a result of Free’s insistence it would not pay the EUR619 million (USD874 million) licence fee in one upfront payment, proposing instead to make payment through deferred annual instalments.

France, Iliad (Free)