By Mathieu Rosemain PARIS (Reuters) – France is weighing a possible regulation to restrict early renewal of smartphones through commercial offers from telecom operators in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of connected devices, an official from the government. Altice Europe’s French telecom operators Orange, Bouygues (PA 🙂 Telecoms and SFR have been attracting new customers for years by providing new smartphones in exchange for contractual commitments for a specified period of time, up to two years. These commercial offers entice customers to upgrade their smartphones while the old one continues to work, the French government says in a “technology and environment” roadmap published on Tuesday. “We are ready to adopt new measures,” the government official said, without elaborating. “The goal is clearly to increase the useful life of the terminals,” the official added, referring to smartphones. The official said the government will first ask French telecom authority Arcep to review contract offers from telecom operators to determine if and how they could speed up the switch to smartphones. “We did not commission this review to waste time, it is clear that we have the means to make a decision,” the official said. The French government estimates that 75% of the negative impact on the environment due to the digital sector comes from the manufacture of devices. This includes CO2 emissions and the consumption of water and other natural resources. The French government is also asking Arcep to review what environmental criteria could be linked to the allocation of future mobile frequencies in the 26 GHz band, the next crucial development in the rise of the next generation of mobile internet or 5G. It will also ask the regulator to define and compile a new data set to assess the environmental impact of telecom operators, as well as “major digital players” on the environment, he said. (This story has been resubmitted to remove the odd tag from the title, no changes to the story content)
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