France Telecom Becomes Fixed-Line Operator in Spain Via Its Lince Consortium

France Telecom Becomes Fixed-Line Operator in Spain Via Its Lince Consortium

The Spanish Ministry of Economics announced on Wednesday that France Telecom’s Lince consortium won the third fixed telephony license in the country. The Lince consortium, created by France Telecom and its Spanish partners Cableuropa, Ferrovial, Multitel Cable and Banco Santander, is to be Spain’s new wireline telecommunications operator. Lince aims to become the leading alternative operator in Spain, offering a complete range of telecommunications services to consumers and businesses in the country beginning in the fall of 1998.

Maurice Bordas, CEO of Lince, said, “With the granting of this license, the Spanish telecommunications market has become fully open to competition, thus giving customers the freedom to choose the best services at the best price. Lince will differentiate itself from the competition thanks to its high-quality services, customer focus and flexible rate structure, which is slated to offer the best value for the money in the Spanish market.”

Lince will first offer indirect services — using a prefix — to its customers in the fall of 1998, with plans to provide direct access services in 72 cities by the year 2001. The new operator will also have a national telephone call center, as well as an extensive sales and marketing network via distribution agreements, one of which includes Banco Santander.

Lince will develop its infrastructure by creating several local partnerships and investing in wireless local loop technology to reach the end user, thereby ensuring long-term distribution. Some 207 billion pesetas (FF 8.28 billion) are earmarked for investment over a ten-year period, 107 billion pesetas (FF 4.28 billion) of which are to be invested in the first three years. The consortium’s business plan forecasts revenues of 175 billion pesetas and the creation of 3,000 direct jobs in ten years time. Banco Santander

Banco Santander ranks among the world’s leading 50 banks and among the top 25 in Europe. It operates in 32 countries on all five continents, offering customers a complete range of financial products and services through its commercial, corporate, private and investment banking, business and asset management and capital markets operations. Ferrovial

Ferrovial is an entrepreneurial group comprising over 80 companies, mainly active in the construction sector in Spain and elsewhere. The group has also extended its operations to other business sectors in which it plays a significant role. These areas include infrastructure and real estate development, water, environmental and urban services. Multitel Cable

Multitel Cable was incorporated in 1995 as a cable telecoms services consultancy and cable systems manager and investment company. Cableuropa

Cableuropa is Spain’s leading domestic cable telecommunications operator. Among its shareholders are SpainCom (GE Capital Services, Bank of America and its advisor, Callahan Associates International), Banco Santander, Banco Central Hispano, Ferrovial and Multitel Cable. France Telecom

Official telecommunications operator of the 1998 World Cup, France Telecom is one of the world’s leading telecommunications carrier, with 1997 consolidated operating revenues of FF 156.7 billion, 33.7 million telephone lines in service and operations in more than 50 countries. In addition to local and long-distance telephony, France Telecom provides businesses and consumers with data, wireless, online, Internet, cable-TV, broadcast and value-added services. France Telecom (NYSE: FTE) held an initial public offering in October 1997. Together with Deutsche Telekom and Sprint, France Telecom created the international joint venture Global One, providing global, seamless voice and data services for businesses, consumers, and carriers.

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