FT-Orange files an appeal against Bouygues’ 4G authorisation

10 Jun 2013

France’s largest telco in terms of subscribers France Telecom-Orange has filed an appeal at the Conseil d’Etat (State Council) against the regulator the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes’ (ARCEP’s) decision to grant permission to rival Bouygues Telecom to use its 1800MHz frequency band for 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE), newspaper Le Figaro reported. According to the article, Free Mobile and SFR have until 11 June 2013 to back the appeal, although SFR is allegedly planning to abstain from joining FT-Orange in the plea.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the four mobile operators – FT-Orange, SFR, Free and Bouygues – paid a total of EUR3.57 billion (USD4.71 billion) for the allocation of 800MHz /2600MHz spectrums for 4G LTE services at end-2011. However, FT-Orange denounced the 4G tender for a lack of transparency, as the operators were not informed at the time that the watchdog was also planning to authorise the 1800MHz frequency band for 4G use in 2013.

France, Arcep, Free Mobile (Iliad), Orange Group, SFR