Arcep, France’s telecoms regulator, revealed it had to tick off Free Mobile and SFR for having inaccurate 4G coverage maps, but Orange and Bouygues Telecom were patted on the back for 4G map accuracy.
SFR’s 4G coverage claims were “especially” bogus, according to the regulator. Both SFR and Free Mobile were told to update their maps. SFR has already done this, while Free Mobile has promised a map update no later than 18 July.
According to Arcep’s analysis, Bouygues has the largest 4G footprint in France covering 70 per cent of the population. Orange is a close second with 67 per cent population coverage, but SFR and Free Mobile lag far behind with coverage of 30 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.
The updated maps of both SFR and Free Mobile show a smaller 4G footprint, although Arcep does not say by how much the coverage was trimmed.
Arcep also measured the accuracy of 2G and 3G coverage maps. Each of the four network operators passed these tests with flying colours.
In separate news, Reuters reports that France’s competition watchdog will rule on Numericable’s proposed purchase of SFR in the third quarter. At the same time, a ruling will be made on of Numericable’s move for Virgin Mobile.