French telecoms operator Numericable-SFR has published the terms for opening up its cable network to rival operators, which is one of the conditions for gaining the Autorite de la Concurrence’s unconditional approval for Numericable’s acquisition of mobile operator SFR. According to a press release, Numericable will provide two reference offers – a ‘white label’, which allows mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) without their own network and premises equipment to access its network via the Numericable box, and a bitstream offer, which allows rivals with existing fixed broadband services to access Numericable’s network using their own consumer premises equipment. However the company’s offers have already attracted criticism from MVNOs wishing to offer triple-play services for being too expensive.
In addition to significant upfront fees, including a EUR5 million (USD5.66 million) set-up fee, EUR250,000 a year in maintenance fees and a EUR50,000 technical study fee, the white label offering will cost EUR12 per month per line with downlink of 30Mbps-100Mbps and USD16 for line with downlink above 200Mbps. Numericable will also charge EUR10 per month for each Mbps consumed by end-users. The bitstream offering will involve similar upfront costs along with a charge of EUR13 (30Mbps-100Mbps) and EUR17 (above 200Mbps), along with EUR9 per month per Mbps.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in October 2014 the anti-trust regulator said that Numericable-SFR must allow rival operators to access its cable networks temporarily, in order to enable internet service providers (ISPs) to replicate its retail offerings while they develop their own high-speed broadband networks. Further, the combined SFR-Numericable entity has to divest its mobile operations in the French overseas territories of Reunion and Mayotte, while Numericable’s DSL network must be offloaded to business-to-business infrastructure-based telecoms company Completel.