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2G / 3G roaming: extension for Orange and Free?

Even though its network had not yet been built, Free Mobile was able to play a real role as the fourth largest telecoms operator on the French market as soon as it arrived in 2012. How did this happen? Thanks to the 2G / 3G roaming agreement negotiated with Orange.

An agreement validated by the Arcep on the condition that it is only temporary. Roaming between Orange and Free was therefore scheduled to end at the end of 2020 but both operators have just requested an extension until the end of 2022.


On February 24th, the Arcep indicated that it had received an amendment announcing an extension until December 31, 2022. This amendment is justified by "the impossibility for Free Mobile to catch up with the market coverage standard which has increased significantly with the Crozon mutualisation agreement and the New Deal obligations despite a very proactive deployment".

Free also points to the need for 2G coverage in order to maintain a certain number of subscribers in 2G but without having the resources to deploy a network. In addition, the other operators maintain 2G as a "fallback technology in certain situations, particularly indoors at peak times".


This news is not going to be well received by Bouygues Telecom and SFR. Indeed, they have constantly denounced the roaming agreement between their competitors, considering it to be a competitive advantage for Free.

SFR's representatives are already castigating Free's decision to distribute dividends and to try to prolong the agreement instead of investing in its networks.

SFR and Bouygues Telecom have announced the suspension of the payment of dividends, but this is also in order to benefit from government aid linked to the short-time working of some of the staff.




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Source : Génération NT





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