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France: Bouygues files complaint over Orange-Free deal

 |  September 5, 2016

Bouygues Telecom has turned to the French competition authority asking it to overturn the extension of rival Free Mobile’s domestic roaming contract with Orange. L’Express reports that Bouygues Telecom filed a complaint in late July with the Competition Authority, after Free and Orange announced in June an extension of the contract to 2020.

The new agreement with Free and Orange outlines how Free will phase out roaming on Orange’s network, in response to a demand from the telecom regulator Arcep that the operators reduce their reliance on roaming and focus more on network build-out.

Bouygues has repeatedly sought limits on Free’s roaming and called for compensation for the damages it’s suffered since the fourth operator entered the market in 2012. Bouygues claims that by allowing Free to rely on roaming, the fourth operator had a cost advantage over rivals which had to invest in their own networks.

Free’s original agreement with Orange was planned to stop at the end of 2018. Under the new agreement it will gradually lower 3G speeds for customers roaming. Clients were already informed that from 01 September this year roaming speeds will be limited to 5 Mbps download and 448 Kbps upload, and the download speed will drop to 1 Mbps from next January and to 384 Kbps from 2018.

Full Content: Telecompaper

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