Paris, 24 February 2010
On 9th April 2009, ARCEP adopted a decision, taken in application of the Law on modernising the economy, or LME (loi de modernisation de l'économie), which lays out the principles for operators to share their 3G mobile network installations. Based on these guidelines, and under the aegis of ARCEP, operators Orange France, SFR and Bouygues Telecom signed a framework agreement for sharing 3G network installations, on 11 February 2010.
Putting this sharing agreement into effect will make it possible to extend 3G coverage more easily and more quickly in some 3,600 municipalities across the country, which correspond those covered in the "2G dead zones" programme plus 300 other municipalities. These rollouts, which are due to be complete by the end of 2013, therefore go well beyond the three operators' 3G coverage obligations.
This sharing arrangement between the operators will be based to a great extent on second generation infrastructure, and will therefore help contribute to lessening the impact, notably visual, of mobile network rollouts on the environment.
Moreover, as Free Mobile was awarded the fourth 3G licence in January of this year, the three operators have also agreed to discuss the terms under which Free Mobile will be included in this agreement, before 31 May 2010.