Wednesday, July 20, 2011

France Telecom Signs Iliad (Free) for FTTH Rollout

France Telecom-Orange announced a milestone agreement with Free (Iliad Group) covering its forthcoming FTTH rollout across France. The joint financing deal covers about 60 less-dense areas in France representing 5 million homes.

As announced earlier this year, France Telecom-Orange plans to invest EUR 2 billion by 2015 to bring fiber-optic networks to 3,600 French municipalities (communes), covering 10 million households by 2015 and 15 million households by 2020 (corresponding to 17 million homes), totalling nearly 60% of French households. The agreement with Free is the first such deal with an operator concerning fiber deployment in these areas that is due to begin in 2011 and 2012.

France's regulatory framework for FTTH rollout outside of very dense cities was established at the start of the year. This week, France Telecom-Orange published its wholesale offer for access to the new fiber network and submitted details to ARCEP, the national regulator.

  • In March 2011, Free Mobile (Iliad) and Orange announced a national roaming agreement covering their respective 2G and 3G networks in France. This agreement will take effect once Free Mobile has deployed a network that offers coverage for 25% of the French population. Under the terms of its license, Free Mobile has taken a clear commitment to deploy a network that offers coverage to at least 90% of the population by 2018.