Mobile network sharing: Arcep welcomes the contractual amendments that will underpin the mobile industry deployment model

27 June 2016

As part of its work on mobile network sharing, on 25 May Arcep invited mobile operators to submit the changes they planned to make to their existing contracts, before 15 June 2016.

Arcep has received the amended versions of the two mobile network sharing agreements:

- the 2G/3G roaming agreement between Free Mobile and Orange;
- the 2G/3G/4G network sharing agreement and the 4G roaming agreement between Bouygues Telecom and SFR.

These amendments structure the gradual phasing out of roaming services.

In addition, Bouygues Telecom and SFR each sent a letter to Arcep detailing the rollout plans covered by their network sharing agreement. In particular, they specified the extent to which their 2G/3G coverage will be improved, and the pace of 4G rollouts accelerated in the shared areas.

Arcep is permitted by law to request that amendments be made to existing contracts when required to meet regulatory objectives, and adopted guidelines to this end on 25 May 2016. It was based on these guidelines that the amended documents submitted by operators were examined.

Arcep concluded that it did not appear necessary to request that operators bring any further changes to their agreements.

Arcep has stressed that it will be especially mindful of ensuring that operators clearly inform their customers of any impact that these agreements have on the quality of their service.

Arcep will continue to engage in and to deepen the processes devoted to monitoring, verifying and guaranteeing the transparency of ongoing improvements to mobile services coverage and quality. Mobile network sharing will help galvanise this ongoing progress in a range of locations (tunnels, the underground, stadiums, sparsely populated areas, etc.).