The two operators announced yesterday that they had entered into exclusive negotiations to share their infrastructures on a mobile offer. An unprecedented operation in France if it is confirmed.
A year and a half after the arrival of Free mobile, operators must take a particularly tight turn to maintain a prominent place. Bouygues Telecom and SFR’s announcement on a possible marriage of their mobile networks has several objectives. First, save 30% on maintenance costs, and 20% on investments. Then, the choice to unite forces is also strategic, at the time of 4G deployment. The equipment relating to this new generation network, as well as the 2G and 3G infrastructures would be pooled.
Possible opposition from Arcep
The two operators want to increase network coverage in the territory, and strengthen the quality of service. The challenge: to compete with the Free-Orange global offer, which have signed a roaming agreement.
It remains for the authority responsible for regulating the telecoms market, ARCEP, to decide whether or not this marriage between SFR and Bouygues is viable. The two CEOs have also received the approval of their respective board of directors. But ARCEP could oppose for fear of an understanding and exchange of information between the two firms, prohibit pooling in “dense areas”, or even contest the form of the alliance. In short, the marriage has not yet been celebrated.