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5G frequencies too expensive for operators

on Friday, 06 December 2019 Posted in Archives Rezopole

5G frequencies too expensive for operators

On 22th November last, the Arcep adopted the procedures for allocating frequencies in the 3.5 Ghz band. Two days later, the government announced the reserve price below which it did not intend to transfer the first portion of spectrum dedicated to the 5G mobile network. And the operators make a face: the floor price seems far too high to them.

4 sets of 50 MHz allocated to each of the four operators at a fixed price of 350 million euros. Then 11 blocks of 10 Mhz that they will then compete at auction, bidding 70 million euros. 2.17 billion, while Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free did not expect this reserve price to exceed The Arcep even campaigned for a prize of 1.5 billion "grand maximum".

In an interview at Les Echos, however, Agnès Pannier-Runacher presents this amount as "reasonable". In particular with regard to the sums paid by German or Italian operators. The representative of Bercy also argued that this figure corresponds to that determined by the Commission des Participations et Transferts, which "analyses the price below which the French people's assets do not seem to him to have to be sold".


A discourse that clashed with the operational and financial reality of 5G, reacted the operators. "This decision is not consistent with what has been put forward by the government in recent months," said Arthur Dreyfuss, President of the TFF. It constantly warns the State against a price boom that would deprive operators of the means to invest in deployment afterwards. Especially since the obligations assigned to them in return for the allocation of frequencies seem too ambitious.


5G frequencies too expensive: another dispute on the road to the future mobile network. Their disagreements relate not only to the reserve price, but also to the size of fixed-price blocks, the pace of deployment, 5G hedging obligations and the duration of licences. A non-exhaustive list of demands on which the regulator is far from having satisfied the Telecom Quartet.


Against the advice of Arcep, which favoured 60 MHz blocks, the state finally opted for 50 MHz. "With 50 MHz blocks, for a total of 310 MHz, the risk is that one operator will get twice as many frequencies as another," explained Sébastien Soriano, President of the Arcep, in Le Figaro. Bouygues Telecom and Free fear that they will lose out in the deal as they are less well equipped financially to bid higher.

Iliad also called for the removal of the third milestone in the deployment of 5G sites - 12,000 at the end of 2025 - for operators who would not obtain the famous 60 MHz. Arcep did not grant this right, but this obligation has been reduced to 10,500 sites. An adjustment reflecting the many criticisms encountered by the initial schedule. This assumed an acceleration of 1,000 sites per year from 2020 to 2022 and then to 2,500/year in 2023-2024 and 4,000/year in 2025 alone.

Bouygues Telecom, Orange and Free replied that they were unplayable, citing technical, financial and administrative constraints. Operators simply do not have the means to make the "leap" of 4,000 sites initially expected in 2025, argues Bouygues Telecom. For whom, moreover, "there is also no capacitive need of this magnitude on this horizon".


8,000 sites in 2024 and 10,500 in 2025 finally but not only in urban areas. The Arcep intends to ensure that the deployment of 5G will also benefit low-density areas, in line with government expectations. The regulator initially proposed to extend this obligation to the 22,000 municipalities of priority deployment areas (PDAs) as defined by the 2015 decision on the allocation of 700 MHz frequencies.

Again, there was no unanimity on this idea. Bouygues Telecom is not going about it in four ways: "Hedging obligations are very heavy and inconsistent with the object sold". For the operator, the 3.4-3.8 GHz band is intended for uses primarily for capacity, so that its use "is not relevant in sparsely populated areas".

Also mentioned by other actors, an approach consisting in prioritizing 5G deployments on "territories that we are sure will not benefit from FttH before a date to be determined". One of the approaches mentioned by Cerema or by the Assembly of French Departments is to use fixed 5G to compensate for future deficiencies in very high wireline broadband.

Finally, the opportunity to add the ZDP perimeter to the very recent list of "Industrial Territories" is suggested by several actors: Cerema again, but also Banque des Territoires or Orange. An addition finally retained by the Arcep in its specifications.

The last point of contention on the part of operators is the granting of 5G licences for an initial period of only fifteen years, which can be extended by five years after the Arcep's assessment. The Authority considers that this period is "appropriate to the level of investment required to fulfil the obligations under the procedure". Not Orange, Bouygues Telecom and SFR: the trio believes that this will not be enough to make their investments profitable.




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Source : DegroupNews





Kosc: State fiasco in Telecom?

on Thursday, 28 November 2019 Posted in Archives Rezopole

Kosc: State fiasco in Telecom?

Kosc Telecom was the solution devised by the public authorities to bring more competition to the business telecoms market. Just three years after its launch, Kosc is expected to file for bankruptcy leaving a slate of 120 million euros.


After the merger with SFR, Kosc acquired part of the activities of Numericable (Completel). Bpifrance had injected 9 million euros and OVH was also a shareholder via a contribution "in industry". The idea was to make Kosc the third man in the lucrative telecom business market, 85% owned by Orange and SFR.

In 2018, Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation had in turn promised to provide 20 million euros to Kosc. It was without counting on a grain of sand: a lawsuit lost to SFR and the threat of having to pay it 20 million euros. For the Caisse, the risk was too high and decided to withdraw from the case, leading to the fall of the telecom operator.


A new game should be played at the helm of the commercial court, with potential buyers. Indeed, the telecoms sector has evolved since 2016 and Free and Bouygues Telecom have in turn launched themselves into the business market. Bouygues' subsidiary would also be a serious candidate for the takeover of Kosc, and would therefore be favoured by OVH.




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Source : Le Figaro





Orange: a company to sell its mobile antennas?

on Thursday, 21 November 2019 Posted in Archives Rezopole

Orange: a company to sell its mobile antennas?

According to the Financial Times, Orange is preparing to split its mobile tower business, the pylons where 3G/4G equipment for mobile phone use is installed, into a separate entity. This could be a prelude to a partial or total sale later on. A new entity that can be valued between €8 and €10.3 billion. Stéphane Richard's group has the largest number of antennas in France (15,000 in total), and one of the largest in Europe (59,000 antennas on the Old Continent, in Africa and in the Middle East).


Orange will inform about its projects during its investor day scheduled for December 4, according to sources in the Financial Times. Its CEO stated last May that "the current appetite for infrastructure funds clearly reveals the intrinsic value of telecom networks". The French operator must ask itself the question of "maximizing the value" of its infrastructure, he said at the time.


This type of split and sale is a cash movement of telecom operators in search of cash. Last August, Free sold 70% of Iliad Tower Co. In 2018, SFR (Altice) partially sold SFR TowerCo while Bouygues Telecom initiated the movement in 2016 with two disposals for a total amount of 700 million euros.




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Source : BFM Business





The Court of Appeal validates Arcep s decision

on Thursday, 31 October 2019 Posted in Archives Rezopole

The Court of Appeal validates Arcep s decision

Free had been involved for several years in co-financing the FTTH networks deployed by Orange and was challenging several terms of its contract with the incumbent operator. The Regulatory Authority had settled this dispute in Free's favour, but Orange had been challenging the legality of the dispute since then. The Paris Court of Appeal upheld Arcep's decision in an order dated 26th September 2019.


The planned renewal of the term and conditions of access to Orange's infrastructure was contested by Free. Arcep confirmed that they did not meet Free's needs for visibility and transparency and therefore imposed on Orange to grant a right of access for a defined period of time and at least 40 years. In its decision, the Court of Appeal confirmed that these conditions are "not sufficiently precise in view of Free's need for visibility over the effective duration of this right".

In addition, Arcep considered that it was justified and reasonable for Free to obtain information on the formation of access tariffs for Orange FTTH networks in less dense private initiative areas. This was also supported by the Court of Appeal, which stated that these tariffs were "directly linked to the financial terms of the bid, which it seeks to ensure is fair".

Finally, the Regulatory Authority considered that the incumbent operator should allow Free to connect mobile base stations in less dense areas of private initiative via the extra optical fibres of the FTTH network deployed by Orange and co-financed by Free. A point that has not been contested by Orange in its appeal.


In addition, the Paris Court of Appeal held that the decision did not affect business confidentiality and confirmed Arcep's analysis. And noting that the information that Orange must provide to Free pursuant to the decision "is characterized by a very high degree of aggregation, both geographically and by expense items".




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Source : Le Monde Informatique





4G: the Arcep hits the table with its fist

on Wednesday, 07 August 2019 Posted in Archives Rezopole, Archives GrenoblIX, Archives LyonIX

4G: the Arcep hits the table with its fist

The telecoms police officer has just sent an early formal notice to Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad-Free regarding the "New Mobile Deal". Indeed, Arcep considers that the commitments made by operators under this agreement, dating from January 2018, are not progressing fast enough.


At the time, the State agreed to renew part of the frequencies granted to operators for ten years and free of charge. A "gift" with a counterpart, however: the operators had undertaken to cover the territory more, particularly in the famous "white areas".

By the end of 2020, they must have converted all their existing 2G and 3G sites to 4G and improve mobile coverage on transport routes (from 2018) and inside buildings (from 2019).


But a year and a half after the signing, the regulator would find that progress was insufficient. "The regulator has no confidence in the operators, he believes that this case is dragging on," explains a source familiar with the case.

If the targets were not met by the 2020 deadline, early warning would make it possible to initiate sanctions more quickly without wasting time.


Aware that operators have always had difficulty meeting their commitments, the government has organised progress reports on the progress of the work. This was obviously not enough.

However, in June 2018, the government published the first 485 sites on which operators had to install their 4G antennas. For its part, the Arcep had launched its quarterly dashboard. But several observers had already warned of the magnitude of the task. "The deadlines were super-short. We could legitimately be concerned," recalls one participant today.


Operators, on the other hand, deny any delay. "Operators are deploying on schedule. ...] We are on the ground every day to solve administrative and technical challenges with the support of communities and government services. Arcep is welcome in the territories and will thus become even more aware of the collective success underway to finally solve the problem of white areas," said Arthur Dreyfuss, President of the French Telecommunications Federation. Summer is therefore likely to be turbulent.





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Source : Les Echos





Iliad takes control of Jaguar Network

on Thursday, 24 January 2019 Posted in Archives Rezopole, Archives GrenoblIX, Archives LyonIX

Iliad takes control of Jaguar Network

Announced on January 18th by Free's parent company, the acquisition of 75% of the capital of the French company Jaguar Network will enable the operator to strengthen its offers on the B2B market. These shares, previously held by the Naxicap investment fund, were sold for just under €100 million.

"This transaction is an important step for Iliad in its development strategy to address the corporate market by leveraging the very strong expertise and complementarities between the two groups and by partnering with a recognized entrepreneur," said Free's management after the acquisition.

This takeover should enable Iliad to develop its national network of data centers in order to increase its capacity to provide technical support to companies. However, this operation should not change the organization chart of the operator and host Cloud Jaguar Network since the company remains managed by its founder, Kevin Polizzi, who remains a shareholder with 25% of the capital.



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Source : ZDNet





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