French telecoms regulator, the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, Arcep), has opened a public consultation on its draft guidelines on mobile network sharing by proposing a gradual termination of the roaming agreements in Metropolitan France. The watchdog disclosed that there are currently two mobile sharing agreements in effect: a 2G/3G roaming agreement which allows Free Mobile customers access to Orange France’s networks, and a 2G/3G/4G agreement between SFR and Bouygues Telecom, which aims to provide improved coverage and quality of service for users.
In regards to the Free/Orange deal, Arcep proposed that the termination process should start before the existing contract expires, with 3G roaming between Orange/Free scheduled to end between 2018 and 2020. For 2G (voice, SMS and data) services the termination date should be between 2020 and 2022. In regards to the SFR/Bouygues Telecom agreement, Arcep disclosed that the deal should be terminated between 2016 and 2018, as ‘investment in 4G infrastructure is vital for the market’. The regulator has invited all interested parties to submit their termination date proposals within the three pre-identified time spans by 23 February 2016.