The French telecoms regulator, Arcep is expected to make another attempt at offering a fourth 3G license by the end of this month. The President of Arcep told a press conference that the "tender offer will almost certainly be launched by the end of July," without expanding on the details.
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French Internet Service Proider, Iliad is the only company to have formally tabled its intention to bid for the license, although Numericable and Virgin Mobile France are mulling a joint bid. A previous bid for the license by Iliad was rejected by the regulator in October 2007. The move could be delayed by legal action from France Telecom's Orange though, as it is pressing the case that the license should be sold at a similar price to those paid by the incumbents at the height of the telecoms bubble. It is expected that the 4th license will have a reserve price of around EUR240 million, compared to the EUR4.95 billion paid by Orange for its license. It should be noted that the radio spectrum allocation is noticeably smaller though.
According to figures from the Mobile World analysts, the three incumbent operators market share at the end of Q1 '09 was: Orange (47%), SFR (36%) and Bouygues Télécom (17%)
Source : Cellular News