French telecoms regulator the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) has announced that domestic cellco Free Mobile has met its rollout obligation of covering 75% of the country’s population with its own 3G network, as stipulated by its concession issued on 12 January 2010. Arcep disclosed that Free Mobile’s 3G network coverage was verified through a series of tests carried out between 29 January and 2 March 2015. ‘More than 40,000 measurements were taken, using devices whose access to 2G and 4G networks, and to other operators’ 3G networks, was deactivated’, the regulator added.
TeleGeography notes that in mid-January 2010 Arcep concluded the formal handover of the country’s fourth 3G licence to fixed line operator Iliad’s newly created wireless unit Free Mobile. The Iliad group committed to launching its network within two years of the award of the licence, and it duly went on to introduce commercial services in mid-January 2012. The newcomer, which paid EUR240 million (USD296 million) for the concession, is now obliged to cover 90% of the population with its own 3G network by 12 January 2018.