France to auction fourth 3G licence in 1Q09

21 Oct 2008

A spokesman for the French government yesterday said that the process to auction off the country’s fourth 3G licence will begin in the first quarter of 2009 and that it retains an open mind on how it intends to achieve this. Reuters quotes Eric Besson, France’s junior minister in charge of the development of the digital economy, as saying that the Cabinet had ‘not retained’ the option to allocate the frequency spectrum on offer to one operator – contradicting an earlier report in Le Monde newspaper. ‘On the fourth licence, we do not have any set ideas,’ Besson said, going on to add, ‘That is why I repeat that all options remain open, which means that there could be a fourth entrant as early as next year… Before 2009, this question will be solved’.