MVNO collective Libre Choix warns government to choose wisely on fourth 3G licence

27 Jan 2009

The French MVNO collective Libre Choix, which brings together a number of companies including Poweo, Altergaz, ipnotica Telecom, Gaz de Paris, Adrexo and Tele2 Mobile, has suggested the government should consult with MVNOs before it considers awarding the country’s fourth and final 3G licence. The group is keen to see the licence go to a new market entrant, saying such a move ‘would be the opportunity of a real market opening today locked by the oligopoly of the three incumbents’. Libre Choix believes that if a fourth operator is given free reign to enter the sector, ‘real competition’ will follow in the short term via MVNOs. Although Libre Choix welcomes the government’s willingness to accelerate the implementation of measures [i.e. awarding the fourth licence] to help revive the French economy, it stresses that splitting the frequency blocks on offer among the existing incumbents would not materially help achieve this goal.