France needs 5G to attract investors: says Iliad founder Niel

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PARIS (Reuters) – A protest movement against the deployment of 5G mobile technology in France risks reducing the country’s attractiveness for investors, French tycoon Xavier Niel said on Tuesday.”5G is an element of attractiveness for our country,” said Niel, founder of the French broadband Internet provider Iliad, during a press conference.

“There is a time when we are going to have to create jobs in this country, so we need foreigners and investors to come here.”

France plans to hold its highly anticipated 5G spectrum auction in late September after several delays, notably due to the coronavirus epidemic.

Germany and Italy have already raised billions of euros through 5G spectrum auctions, which raises questions in France about the amount the French state will seek to raise.

Orange, Altice Europe’s SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad, the four main French telecom operators, are plunged into an extended price war that is weighing on margins.

Report by Gwenaelle Barzic; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva, Edition by Sarah White and Jane Merriman

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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