UMTS: the first two licences allotted
Go for the UMTS. The ART (Autorité de régulation des telecommunications; authority of telecommunication regulation) has allotted two UMTS licences to the single two candidates : Orange (France Telecom) and SFR (Vivendi Universal)of course, the choice of these two candidates was not a surprise. On the other hand, as there were rumours about the possibility of cancellation of the current call for tenders process (see article "UMTS : l'attribution des licences en France remise en cause"), the new one deals with the allotment of these first two licences.The two other licences are suspended after the withdrawal of Bouygues and GS3 consortium conducted by Suez. Jean-Michel Hubert, the president of the ART has also asked for a new call for candidates before the first three months of 2002, the time to call for new tenders. But nothing has been said about a possible revision of licence prices downwards. A price of 4.95 billion euros that Bouygues and Suez have considered as exorbitant.