France allocates LTE spectrum

French regulator Arcep has announced that all four of the country’s major operators have won licences to use its 2.6 GHz frequency band, which will be used in the deployment of LTE mobile networks. Orange/France Telecom will be allocated a duplex frequency block of 20 MHz, for which it bid €287.12m, while Iliad’s Free Mobile will also be allocated the same, after bidding €271m.

French LTE spectrum auction to be launched by May

French telecoms regulator ARCEP has said that the country’s LTE spectrum auction will be launched before May this year. The terms of the sale, which is expected to raise €2bn, are expected to be finalised shortly and ARCEP has said that it wants to award the spectrum before the end of this year.

Vodafone sells SFR stake to Vivendi for €7.95bn

International operator Vodafone has announced that it is to sell its 44 per cent stake in French carrier SFR to its partner in the operation, Vivendi, for €7.95bn. Vivendi will pay €7.75bn in cash, with a final dividend from SFR of €200m paid on completion of the deal. The move is the latest in a planned series of divestments as Vodafone exits markets in which it does not have majority ownership.

French carriers form micropayment venture

French carriers Orange, SFR and Bouygues have joined forces with IT services firm Atos Origin to form a new joint venture dedicated to exploring a mobile payments initiative.

Vodafone reported to be ready to offload SFR stake

A report in UK broadsheet The Sunday Times on September 12th claimed that Vodafone has placed a £7bn (US$10.78bn) price tag on its 44 per cent stake in French mobile carrier SFR. The report follows a reorganisation to Vodafone’s structure late last week, in which certain assets were left out of new portfolios, with management given a remit to “maximise shareholder value” from them.

SFR looks to clouds for enterprise offering

French carrier SFR has tapped HP to build it a complete cloud services platform designed to enable the service provider to offer cloud-based services with utility-based pricing to French companies.

SFR launches femtocells in France

French operator SFR became the second European carrier to commercially introduce femtocells this week, following Vodafone’s UK launch in July.

French connections: France country profile

The French market is facing an inevitable slowdown as it reaches saturation point. According to Informa Telecoms & Media’s World Cellular Information Service, France had a market penetration of 90.72 per cent in March 2008, up from 84.58 per cent for the same period last year.

SFR to increase stake in Neuf Cegetel

French conglomerate Vivendi said Thursday its mobile phone subsidiary, SFR, is in talks to buy up a further stake in fixed line carrier Neuf Cegetel. SFR would buy a further 29 per cent stake in the fixed line operator from trading group Louis Dreyfus for around Eur2.07bn. The French mobile operator already owns 40.5 per […]

SFR pilots UMTS900 with Nokia

Nokia and French operator SFR said Friday they have carried out a technical pilot on UMTS 3G voice calling in the 900MHz band (UMTS900). Because of its lower frequency, UMTS900 is anticipated to provide between two and four times more coverage than the most commonly used 2GHz band as well as increased indoor coverage. The […]

SFR subs get Happy Zone

French operator SFR launched “Happy Zone”, a home zone cellular service on Thursday, allowing users to benefit from flat rate unlimited calls to domestic fixed lines. The service works much like T-Mobile’s @Home offering, which allows subscribers to make cheaper calls from the network cell their home resides in. The Happy Zone for SFR customers […]

Tele2 sells French fixed ops.

Sweden-based alternative telecoms operator Tele2 has sold off its fixed and broadband businesses in France to local operator SFR for SEK3.3bn (£239m). Tele2 said on Tuesday that the sale of the French fixed line and broadband business will result in a capital loss of SEK1bn. The Swedish operator will however retain its French mobile virtual […]


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