Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Libre Choix advises Government on fourth 3G license – France

Libre Choix, the French MVNO group comprised of firms such as Poweo, Altergaz, ipnotica, Telecom, Gaz de Paris, Adrexo and Tele2 Mobile, has put forward its suggestion that the government should consult MVNOs before awarding the country’s fourth and final 3G license. According to the group, the license should be given to a new player as it would open the market currently captured by three incumbent operators.

The group further stressed that if a new operator is allowed entry in the industry, ‘real competition’ can be induced in the short term through MVNOs. According to the group, distributing the frequency spectrum among existing incumbents would not help in achieving this goal. The group, however, welcomed the move of the government to award the fourth license, as one of the measures to revive the French economy in a week where the country will grind to a halt via a popular national strike.

There are 26 non-MNO mobile offerings already in the French market with all 3 networks (Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR) hosting multiple MVNOs. Recent research has also found 5 MVNEs active in the French market providing MVNOs with access to MNOs via their own agreements, with Transatel being one of the most significant.