Openness to virtual operators key in 4G mobile: France

25th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Openess to virtual operators will be an important criteria in awarding frequencies for fourth-generation (4G) telecoms services in auctions next year, a French minister said Thursday.

France currently has three mobile network operators and a fourth is set to begin operating within two years, plus a dozen so-called virtual operators which buy bandwith from the network operators to offer services to the public.

"I want the attribution procedure for the frequencies to remain open to each of the four network operators," said Industry Minister Eric Besson at an industry conference.

However, the procedure to award the frequencies should contain "criteria that values openness towards virtual operators," he said.

"Competition remains the best gauge of the reasonabilty of prices and for innovation in consumer services in mobile telephony," the minister said.

Besson said other main criteria to evaluate bids for 4G licenses include ensuring full network coverage of French territory and increasing competition.

© 2010 AFP

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