This is kinda expected as Iliad was the only bidder for 4th French 3G license. The company, which owns a major ISP in France – Free, said their mobile service is coming within 2 years. Moreover, they said sharing of network infrastructure is planed with rival operators where possible.
Commenting on the announcement, Iliad issued a statement: “Iliad is pleased with this decision. The allocation of the licence will enable the Group to extend to mobile communication the technological and pricing innovation dynamics that turned it into a leader for landline telecommunications. The introduction of a fourth network operator will facilitate the emergence of profitable MVNOs and ease mobile multimedia usage take-off, for the benefit of consumers… By becoming a major mobile multimedia player, in addition to its landline operator activities (ADSL and FTTH), Iliad is now in a position, like its main competitors, to become a major contributor to convergence.”
As a reminder, earlier rumors suggested that some other companies — including the cable operator Numericable, Virgin Mobile and Egypt’s Orascom — had considered bidding for the license, but pulled out with concerns over the cost and delays of building a national mobile network.