International operator group Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) has announced it will divest its 55 per cent stake in Monaco’s sole mobile operator for €321.79m to a private investment firm controlled by the founder and majority shareholder of France’s newest mobile operator Free Mobile, Xavier Niel.
Not content with making life miserable for the three incumbent operators in France, French telco Iliad has put in a surprise bid for T-Mobile US. It had been assumed acquisition of T-Mobile US by rival operator Sprint was a foregone conclusion, so Iliad’s 11th hour intervention will potentially ruffle a lot of feathers.
French multi-play operator Bouygues has announced plans to cut more than 1,500 jobs, after CEO Olivier Roussat told a press briefing that consolidation-focused discussions being held with incumbent Orange and fast-growing newcomer Iliad had stalled.
French conglomerate Vivendi has accepted investment vehicle Altice’s offer for its mobile operator subsidiary SFR. Under the terms of the offer SFR will merge with Altice subsidiary and cable operator Numericable and Vivendi will receive €13.5bn for SFR as well as a 20 per cent stake in the new merged entity. The firm estimates the total value of the offer at around €17bn.
French operators Bouyges Telecom and SFR have agreed to roll out a shared network covering 57 per cent of the French population. The operators will create a joint venture to manage the shared base station assets and a RAN share covering 2G, 3G and LTE services in the area covered by the network.
French low-cost 3G operator Free has managed to acquire nearly four per cent of the country’s market share in just 80 days.
Orange France’s VP of wholesale, Brigitte Bourgoin, has sent a letter to Iliad CEO Maxime Lombardini complaining of the strain that its subsidiary Free Mobile is putting on its network.
French regulator Arcep has said that it has awarded 4G licences in the 800Mhz band to the incumbent operators Bouygues, Orange and SFR. Fourth applicant Free Mobile, owned by Iliad, was not successful. All four operators were previously awarded 4G licences at 2.6GHz.
French regulator Arcep has announced that all four of the country’s major operators have won licences to use its 2.6 GHz frequency band, which will be used in the deployment of LTE mobile networks. Orange/France Telecom will be allocated a duplex frequency block of 20 MHz, for which it bid €287.12m, while Iliad’s Free Mobile will also be allocated the same, after bidding €271m.