French telecoms regulator Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) will this week publish details on the allocation of the fourth mobile licence in its Official Gazette, Les Echos reports. It is understood the watchdog has set a deadline of 29 October for applicants wishing to take part in the process with the winner set to be unveiled by the end of the year, or in early 2010. Arcep will review the applications based on nine criteria. The terms and conditions of the fourth licence award will be identical to those of previous calls for applications: the winner should cover 25% of the population after two years and 80% after eight. The regulator will also be particularly attentive to the coherence and credibility of the successful candidate’s financial and business plan: and all candidates must demonstrate their ability to support a full network rollout (to the tune of EUR1 billion). New measures reportedly in the offing will improve the lot for MVNO operators, which currently account for just over 5% of the mobile market.