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French regulator to probe Free’s mobile network
30 January 2012
ARCEP will look into allegations that Iliad’s Free is using under-equipped infrastructure for low-cost services
French telecoms authority ARCEP is to investigate Iliad’s network following complaints that the infrastructure was not well equipped, reported Reuters. Iliad, which offers its services under its Free brand, had recently introduced its low cost mobile services, which, rivals say, is not fully ready for services and offers poor customer services.
Local reports have alleged that Free was shutting down its overloaded base station and using France Telecom’s network to send traffic. However, the company is required to cover 27% of the population using its own antennas, and failure to do so could result in a licence breach, Reuters reported.
However, Free’s CEO Maxime Lombardini has denied these allegations and has said that he is open to a regulatory inspection. He told Reuters that the firm’s competitors “are trying to make it seem to consumers that there is a problem with our network”, while these is no such issue.
ARCEP, meanwhile, said that while it did not receive any formal appeal, it considered asking Free to provide updated information on the status of its network “for the sake of transparency and peace of mind.” GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
Free launches French mobile service 11 Jan 2012
Four bid for French 4G licences 16 Dec 2011
Iliad challenges French 4G auction terms 25 Aug 2011
Iliad and France Telecom sign 3G roaming deal 04 Mar 2011
Iliad delivers bid for French 3G licence 28 Oct 2009