Frost Comments on Free Mobiles 3G Win

Over the summer, the French government launched a bid to assign the countrys fourth 3G licence this past summer. The deadline of 29 October 2009 saw only one successful bidder Free Mobile, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Iliad group. According to Saverio Romeo, Frost & Sullivan's Mobile & Wireless Industry Analyst, this is a strategic move by Iliad, expanding from a fixed to a mobile environment.
The future of telecommunications lays (sic) in the capacity of providing information exchange between machines, humans, and objects, says Romeo. How this will happen is technologically irrelevant for consumers. But in order to happen, players need to run an All IP network, a network that is fixed and wireless at the same time. Iliad is entering the high-speed mobile communications market and building up an All IP network in the long term.”
One of the key challenges for Iliad, the analyst says, is the 25% coverage requirement stipulated in the licence. This could potentially be addressed through network sharing, particularly in order to cover less densely-populated areas.
An operator that is able to provide fixed-mobile convergence in France will make the market more competitive, says harifah Amirah, Principal Analyst for Frost & Sullivan Telecoms group. It is particularly interesting in Iliads case, where there is strong synergy with their Internet business.
Frost believes that new dynamic players will challenge traditional incumbents and drive innovation, ensuring a wider spectrum of choice for consumers. It adds that it will be interesting to see how Iliad designs its strategy at the content level and how it will position its convergence products and applications.