UMTS Licences

The Authority calls for a broad and expeditious review of the technical and financial conditions for the award of UMTS licences

Paris, September 26 2001

The proximity of the deadline for the payment of the first fraction of the fees due for UMTS licenses leads the concerned operators to make known their analysis on the conditions under which this market will be able to open and to develop. The French telecommunications regulatory Authority (ART) has been informed of these opinions.

The delay in the effective implementation of UMTS had led the ART to acknowledge, as early as the 31 May 2001, that the economic equation of the terms of payment of the licenses was not suitable; it had suggested a significant reshuffling of their time-table. The evolution witnessed since then has only strengthened the content of this analysis.

It thus appears desirable to carry out a broad and fast examination of the technical and financial conditions of the granting of UMTS licenses, preserving the principle of equity between the current and future licenses.

The ART is in contact on this issue with the Economy Finance and Industry Ministry, with the concern of consolidating the industrial presence of our country in the Community process, of ensuring a real competition benefiting to the consumer, and of bringing to the market the necessary visibility.