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French Network Operators Agree to Share Infrastructure

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Two French mobile network operators, Bouygues Telecom and SFR have signed an agreement to share a part of their mobile access networks, following a period of negotiations that started in July 2013.

The two networks will now roll out a new, shared network in an area covering 57% of the French population (France excluding its 32 biggest urban areas of more than 200,000 inhabitants and blind spots).

The agreement will enable the two operators to improve their mobile coverage and generate significant savings.

The companies will create a dedicated joint venture to manage the shared base station assets and will then enter into a RAN-sharing agreement covering 2G, 3G and 4G services in the shared areas mentioned above.

The shared network is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

The agreement needs to be approved by the regulator, Arcep, although it has already responded saying that it welcomed the agreement. Mobile network sharing deals are encouraged, under certain conditions, in the terms of the 4G spectrum licences that it established in 2011.

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Tags: bouygues telecom  sfr  France