French WiMAX operators blame deployment delays on lack of equipment

Bolloré Telecom is challenging the French telecoms regulator Arcep over allegations that the company has not deployed its WiMAX network within the allotted timescales.

The operator, which acquired 22 regional WiMAX licences to provide widespread coverage across France, has asked the French Council of State to intervene and cancel Arcep's action that could see Bolloré Telecom losing its licences. The company said it is unable to deploy a fully functioning WiMAX network due to equipment vendors abandoning the technology, according to Le Express.

Arcep's decision to review the progress being made with WiMAX licences followed a survey conducted last November that found three operators had failed to meet their obligations. The regulator said that Altitude Wireless, Bolloré Telecom and the territorial collective of Corsica were not using the assigned WiMAX frequencies, and that commercial services had not been launched. In total, Arcep said seven of the 10 French WiMAX licence holders had not complied with their licence conditions. 

While Jean-Christophe Thiery, president of Bolloré Telecom, maintains that the company is still pressing forward, the company requested that the assigned WiMAX spectrum (3.4GHz to 3.6GHz) be used for LTE services to provide existing cellular operators in France with extra capacity whenever their networks become overloaded.

For more:
- see this Le Express article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Clubic article (translated via Google Translate)

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