Virgin linked to possible bid for fourth mobile licence

3 Jul 2009

Virgin Mobile is reportedly in talks with a number of possible strategic partners concerning plans to launch a bid for France’s fourth and final 3G mobile operating licence. A senior official is quoted as saying the group has for example, held talks with French cableco Numericable but has yet to decide its next move. ‘We are looking at the dossier. We are looking at it very closely….We are looking at it in a very favourable manner,’ Reuters quotes Virgin Mobile Secretary General Philippe Maugest as saying. ‘The price seems to us relevant and fair,’ he added.

In June this year, Comms Update reported the head of the French telecoms regulator Arcep, Jean-Ludovic Silicani, as saying the country’s fourth and final 3G mobile licence will most likely be awarded in January 2010 and that ‘at least two candidates’ are expected to be in the running. The Arcep official said: Now that the [licence fee] amount has been clarified, we should be able to launch the tender before end-July for a licence award in January 2010.’

France, Omea Telecom (incl. Virgin Mobile), Virgin Mobile UK