Will Free Have Been The Last 4th Operator In Europe?

Already back in August there have been reports that mobile network consolidation has also reached Italy with the proposed merger of Wind and 3-Italy. This would, like in many other countries in Europe over the last few years, reduce the number of independent networks from four down to three. It is a regrettable trend as there are many signs that three network operators with physical infrastructure competing with each other is too little competition. An interesting example of this is France, where the emergence of Free as a fourth mobile network operator back in 2011/12 has significantly heated up competition and reduced prices that were at a very high base compared to most other countries in Europe. Which makes me muse if Free was the last 4th mobile network operator to start operation in a European country in the wake of a wave of consolidation moves in other parts of Europe!?

One thought on “Will Free Have Been The Last 4th Operator In Europe?”

  1. A side question: shouldn’t the evolution towards all-IP, 4G communication networks make the establishment of a greater number of operators technically easier?

    If so, then the current consolidation could mean that incumbents are trying to occupy as much wireless real-estate as possible to hedge against a new wave of challengers that are made possible through lower technical barriers to entry in the market.

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