Orange backs out of Iliad network share talks - Mobile World Live

Orange backs out of Iliad network share talks

29 JAN 2021

Iliad’s French unit Free Mobile was dealt a blow by Orange after it terminated discussions on a mobile network sharing deal due to differences in 5G deployment visions.

In a statement, Orange said talks with Free Mobile commenced in late 2020 following the close of a 5G spectrum auction. It explained it called a halt due to “a divergence in deployment strategy”.

Orange added the quality of its network “is a priority”, citing figures from regulator Arcep which placed it at the top of this metric for the past decade.

The operator also targeted delivering fibre connectivity to “two-thirds of the 24 million connectable homes that have already been built” in France.

In November 2020, Reuters reported Iliad CEO Thomas Reynaud had indicated the company was interested in agreeing a network sharing deal with Orange, stating it would bring parity with rivals SFR and Bouygues Telecom, which had a partnership covering 70 per cent of the population.

Orange and Free Mobile have a national roaming agreement which runs until end-2022.

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Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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