French WiMAX licensees fail to meet buildout requirements

Seven WiMAX license holders in France are in default of their deployment obligations, according to French telecoms regulator Arcep, and it appears the operators don't want to heavily deploy a technology they feel has been abandoned by the entire telecom industry.

Three of the seven operators that own the 3.5 GHz spectrum have failed to make any use of their spectrum, while the remaining four have made partial use of their WiMAX frequencies. Arcep could fine the companies but it appears it will give them an order to meet their June 2008 rollout obligations by June 2012.

Commenting on the lack of progress, according to Le Nouvel Observater, Jean-Christophe Thierry, chairman of Bolloré, one of the operators that has yet to roll out WiMAX, said that the stakeholders felt that WiMAX was ready for deployment when bidding for the licences. "But since then it has been abandoned by the entire telecom industry. The lack of proven technology on the 3.5 GHz band has prevented any national roll-out." Thierry added that he would look to persuade Arcep that the 3.5GHz spectrum should be reused for LTE.

For more:
- see this FierceWireless Europe article

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