France's telecoms regulator Arcep intends to review a national 2G and 3G roaming agreement between Orange and Free Mobile under new powers it is set to gain under France's economic reform law, "Loi Macron".
France has been a highly interesting market to watch since January 2012, when enfant terrible Free Mobile launched its low-cost mobile plans and changed competition on the mobile market forever. Since then we have seen the emergence of new brands such as Sosh and a price war that continues to have repercussions for all market players.
Altice is reportedly stepping up its plans to buy the country's third-largest operator in a move that would further consolidate France's telecoms market.
France-based SFR has launched LTE Advanced (LTE-A) services in Marseille following earlier launches in the cities of Toulon, Toulouse and Lyon.
Sébastien Soriano is the preferred candidate of President François Hollande to head the telecoms regulator in France.
France's telecoms regulator Arcep has awarded spectrum in the 1800 MHz frequency band to Free Mobile, which will be able to use the airwaves for the expansion of its LTE network across the country.
Altice has started exclusive negotiations with Brazil-based Oi to agree a €7.4 billion ($9.2 billion) acquisition of the Portuguese assets of Portugal Telecom (PT), fending off a rival €7.07 billion bid from private equity funds Apax and Bain, as well as a €1.2 billion offer from Angola-based investor Isabel dos Santos.
Altice completed an acquisition of mobile operator SFR on Thursday, marking the launch of a new fixed and mobile powerhouse on France's telecoms market.
Altice CEO Dexter Goei has further stirred up the telecoms market consolidation debate in France after he made it clear that the company would be more than interested in buying Bouygues Telecom.
Bouygues Telecom unveiled a new range of mobile plans that will see the company integrate its low-cost B&YOU plans into its overall offering, and reposition itself on the still highly competitive French market.