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Mobile at last for 171 communes

Economy ministry and mobile operators identify rural areas that will receive mobile signal for the first time next year

RESIDENTS of 171 French communes that have no mobile phone reception at all will be able to make calls for the first time by the end of next year.

The French economy ministry has reached an agreement with the four main mobile operators - Bouygues, Orange, SFR and Free - which will ensure that the 171 villages in so-called "white zones" are connected to the network. Basic 2G mobile internet will also become available.

Sébastien Soriano, president of telecoms regulator Arcep, said: "During the research, it became clear that some departments such as the Aube and the Yonne had dozens of communes where no network connection was available."

The Languedoc-Roussillon region has the highest number of communes without a mobile signal, followed by the Midi-Pyrénées and Bourgogne. The full list can be found in the document below.

The big four mobile operators have also committed to bring faster 3G and/or 4G mobile internet to 2,200 rural communes by mid-2017 for the first time.

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