France's latest 3G licence sale flops

I'm down at the Smartphone Show in London's Docklands today - arguably the one of the most expensive places to park your motor at around 30 quid a day (bargain! Ed) - so it's kind of appropriate that I can report that the French government has failed to sell off its fourth 3G licence.

Mind you, with a price tag of around 450 million quid in deferred annual payments, I'm not surprised, as the main three cellcos in France have said quite publicly they're losing munney on their 3G networks.

Whilst all of this is going on in France, T-Mobile has started selling its first 3G handsets in the US, but operating at 1.7 GHz - just under the frequency range of its GSM network in the UK.

Rumour has it that T-Mobile and 3, who have a 3G network share deal in the UK, are planning to use some of T-Mobile's GSM frequencies to offer 3G services in the 1.8 GHz waveband.

Using this frequency would offer better signal propagation in country areas, and allow both networks to achieve near-national 3G network coverage at minimal cost.

And the US 3G handsets would simply need a frequency tweak to get 'em working in the UK.

Which in turn would mean T-Mobile could start to offer mobile broadband services in more areas and free sad PC users like me from their desks and fixed line broadband VPN connection.

Mind you, I did use 1.8 GB on my 3 mobile broadband service last month - outstanding laptop usage or what? The sad reality is that I was VPN-ing with 256-bits encryption back into my office server...