New 3G Licence for France

(21 Oct 2008, BWCS Staff)

France is to launch a tender for a new 3G licence early next year. The announcement came as part of plan to eradicate the so-called digital divide in the nation. Eric Besson, the French minister for the digital economy, revealed his brain-child - Digital France 2012 - yesterday. The plan sets out some 154 new measures aimed at providing broadband for all and covers mobile telephony, fixed line internet and broadcast TV services.

Besson's scheme is designed to remove the current discrepancies which have left up to 2 million French households without any access to broadband networks. The government will issue a tender for the supply of a universal broadband internet service from 2010, which will cost less than euros 35 a month per home. Besson says his plan will see up to 4 million homes connected to very high speed services by 2012. This will partly be enabled by a massive increase in the amount being spent on fibre to the home networks. The fibre expenditure is expected to reach over euros 10 billion over the next decade.

The French administration also plans to sell off more 3G mobile phone spectrum early in 2009. According to Besson's plan the sale will favour new entrants, or existing operators who are prepared to work with new MVNOs.


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