Arcep considers new options for fourth 3G licence

13 Jun 2008

The French telecom regulator Arcep is mulling at least three possible alternatives for awarding mobile frequencies for the country’s fourth mobile licence, Dow Jones reports. In a press release, the watchdog said the government had tasked it with undertaking a public consultation on the subject, which is due to end on 30 September. Arcep’s three scenarios for discussion are; awarding the entire frequency allocation to a new market entrant; dividing the spectrum into a number of packets, some of which would be reserved for newcomers; and finally, splitting the blocks into segments that would then be open to any operator. Upon completion, the government intends to hold a parliamentary debate to discuss Arcep’s findings, following which it will decide on how best to proceed.

The move marks the latest attempt to award the fourth 3G licence. In October last year Iliad bid for the licence, but was rejected by Arcep for failing to meet the necessary financial criteria. Earlier this month Iliad said it was still interested in acquiring the concession but said the right ‘legal path’ had still to be found vis a vis awarding the licence.

France, Arcep, Iliad (Free)