The Conseil d'Etat rejects Free Mobile's request to suspend implementation of the ARCEP decision authorising Bouygues Telecom to employ the 1800 MHz band to deliver 4G services, starting on 1 October 2013

Paris, 11 July 2013

In an order dated 11 July 2013, the President of France's highest administrative court, the Conseil d'Etat, rejected a request from Free Mobile to suspend the ARCEP decision of 4 April 2013, authorising Bouygues Telecom to refarm the 1800 MHz band to technologies other than GSM, starting on 1 October 2013 - provided the company relinquish some of its spectrum according to a specific timetable.

The President of the court ruled that the ARCEP decision did not have any anti-competitive effects, as any mobile operator is able to deploy a 4G network thanks to the 1800 MHz-band spectrum it has already has been allocated, and could be allocated in future.

This decision thus confirms ARCEP's balanced approach which aims to encourage all operators to further the development of superfast mobile access, while ensuring the conditions for effective and fair competition in the mobile market.