French MVNO aims to launch negotiations this week
French mobile virtual network operator Coriolis Telecom is interested in acquiring the business assets of Bouygues Telecom, French newspaper Les Echos reported.
“We will have the critical mass to offer a real alternative to the future duopoly in the enterprise market,” Coriolis’s CEO Pierre Bontemps, was quoted as saying.
According to the report, Coriolis plans to start negotiations to acquire the assets this week. Coriolis operates a MVNO service using the network infrastructure of local telcos Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom. Coriolis currently offers mobile telephony and broadband services.
Last week, French telecommunications firm Orange confirmed it has renewed discussions with the Bouygues Group regarding potential consolidation. According to recent press reports, Orange could pay 10 billion euros ($10.86 billion) in cash and shares for Bouygues Telecom. However, Orange’s CEO Stephane Richard said the firm will suspend the negotiations if the operation is too risky to execute. The executive said certain regulatory hurdles and the complexity of combining the structures of the two operators as potential obstacles to closing a deal.
Richard did note negotiations with Bouygues were progressing well and should take a few weeks.
Bouygues Telecom ended the third quarter of 2015 with 4.6 million LTE subscribers, representing 46% of the operator’s mobile base, excluding machine-to-machine connections, compared with 26% at the end of Q3 2014. Bouygues Telecom launched LTE services in 2013 using spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands. The telco provides fixed and mobile services as well as broadband services for residential and corporate customers.
MTS offers LTE in Russia’s 83 regions
In other EMEA news, Russian mobile operator Mobile TeleSystems said it ended December 2015 with LTE coverage in the country’s 83 regions. MTS said it deployed 15,000 base stations last year, including around 7,300 LTE and 4,410 3G base stations. The telco said 55% of the operator’s LTE base stations support the 1800 MHz band.
MTS previously said its LTE network is delivering peak speeds up to 75 megabits per second using a single spectrum band. By aggregating spectrum in the 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands, MTS said peak speeds will reach 150 Mbps and up to 187 Mbps in some network segments.
MTS also operates in Ukraine, Armenia, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.