France Telecom approaches rivals over 3G network sharing

France Telecom is holding talks with rival mobile operators over the possibility of sharing its 3G network in order to cut costs.

CEO Stephane Richard, on Medef’s employee annual meeting said‘There are discussions but no particular timing [for decisions].’ The executive confirmed that France Telecom has held discussions with SFR, Bouygues Telecom and newcomer Iliad. The January launch of Iliad’s mobile service sparked a price war which has led to the three existing players becoming structurally less profitable. ‘I think it is in the interest of all operators to examine opportunities for network sharing given the new realities in the mobile market, and also to rationalise our investments, while keeping our capacity to differentiate ourselves via network quality,’ Richard further added.

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