A pair of French trade unions are once again calling for an investigation into the network coverage of recently launched cellular operator Free Mobile. Telecom unions CFE-CGC and Unsa claim that during the first week of service in January this year, over 90% of Free Mobile’s traffic was directed over the network of its national roaming partner Orange France. The unions have already approached industry regulator Arcep with the matter, but the watchdog maintained that Free Mobile had met the minimum coverage requirements of its licence by deploying infrastructure covering at least 27% of the population. According to a report from Telecompaper which cites French newspaper Les Echos, the unions have now referred the issue to the State Council, claiming that Arcep failed in its duty to investigate the matter fully.
Separately, the same French newspaper is reporting that Orange France and Free Mobile have completed negotiations to set new SMS termination rates and are close to finalising a roaming deal covering 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.