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