Rumour Mill: Will Google finance French WiMAX deployment?

Strenuous denials have come from all those said to be involved in deploying a nationwide WiMAX network in France. The suggested joint venture, which would involve funding from Google, was reported by the French daily Les Echos to include the ISP Free, a unit of Iliad, and Bollore Group's Bollore Telecom. While the companies mentioned--Intel Capital was also included in the Les Echo article--have refuted any suggestion of discussions or talks, Free is the sole holder of a national licence for WiMAX and Bollore Telecom holds 20 regional licences for the service. A nationwide network in France is estimated to require €1 billion investment and would need the assistance of technology providers and wealthy backers--roles that Intel Capital and Google could, and might be very eager to, fulfil.

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