According to a press release of the regulatory authority, the new actor has “Covered by its 3G network over 27% of the population and thus respected its coverage commitments corresponding to the deadline of January 12, 2012 included in its authorization”. This was the sine qua none condition so that Free could then rely on Orange’s network to complement its own. However, this regulatory constraint only concerns the extent of the coverage and not its intensity.
Arcep also took advantage of this announcement to launch a public consultation on future mobile call termination (TAM). The authority wants to establish advantageous conditions for new entrants, including Free Mobile in the first place.
The TAM designates what an operator perceives when the customer of one of its competitors finalizes a call on its network. Example: Julien, who is on Orange, calls Olivier who is on Free. The operator of Julien must then pay a sum to the operator of Olivier, since the network of the latter will be used for the routing of the communication, without this one bringing him money.
Thus, from next January, Free Mobile could benefit from a favorable call termination of 2.4 euro cents until June 30, 2012, against 1.5 cents for its competitors.
With all these conditions met, the question remains to know if Xavier Niel will give its kick off before the end of year holidays or not.