UMTS licences : Telefonica and Suez-Lyonnaise give up

Posté ven 26/01/2001 - 00:00
Par admin

Both groups envisaged the settlement in Sophia of a UMTS research and development center which creation was dependent on the obtaining of a licence. The Quid of the project ?

On Wednesday January 24th, Telefonica and Suez-Lyonnaise have announced they decided ' not to submit any offer in answer to the candidature for the attribution of UMTS licences in France'. Sophia Antipolis is even more interested in such an announcement, declared one week before the period to apply come to an end, as the two groups came several times on the site to think about the settlement of a UMTS research and development center, the third generation of mobile telephony. Sophia was in competition with other sites for such a center (about one hundred jobs) whose creation depended on the obtaining of a licence in France.Does the settlement file also fall through ? It is still a little too early to think so. Telefonica and Suez have explained their withdrawal by saying that the licence prices (4.95 billion euros, that is to say 32 billion francs) ' do not correspond to the situation of the market, while the UMTS licence price tendencies already attributed in Europe (Austria, Italy, Switzerland) have shown a regular decrease during last months.'Such a point of view is shared by SFR and Bouygues Télécom which have also let the doubt hang over their participation. So, the wrestle seems to be engaged with the French government to obtain more favourable financial conditions. And if Telefonica and Suez have specified that their decision was definite, it seems that the application file will reach its conclusion, as the daily La Tribunenoticed.

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