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Last Updated: Monday, 24 October 2005, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
French connection for phone firms
Carphone Warehouse store
Carphone is already Europe's biggest independent mobile firm
UK mobile phone groups Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Mobile are teaming up for a joint venture in France.

The pair plan to launch a nationwide Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in France, that will be accessed through the Orange network.

The service will be launched early next year under the Virgin Mobile brand.

The French government has been pushing for the creation of MVNOs as a means of igniting competition in the market with the aim of lowering prices.

Carphone's Brittany-based regional mobile operation Omer is expected to be used as a launch pad for the venture.

The French market is currently dominated by three operators - Orange, SFR and Bouygues Telecom.

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