Vivendi's SFR aims for stable capital investment - report

PARIS Mon Jan 7, 2013 3:01am EST

PARIS Jan 7 (Reuters) - Vivendi's SFR mobile unit aims to maintain capital investment this year while facing tougher cut-price competition in France, a senior company executive told Les Echos.

SFR will continue to cut costs while pursuing network investments of 1.5-1.6 billion euros ($2 billion) in 2013, Pierre-Alain Allemand, head of networks and information systems, told the French daily in an interview published on Monday.

"We have no choice but to invest as we face two major technology shifts, mobile 4G networks and fiber optics," he said.

The arrival last January of low-cost player Free Mobile has touched off a price war that has forced SFR, Vivendi's biggest unit, and other key players France Telecom and Bouygues to spend heavily to retain customers.

Entertainment-to-media conglomerate Vivendi began a strategy review in May to boost its flagging share price and cut debt, and has put units in Brazil and Morocco up for sale.

Chief Executive Jean-Francois Dubos said last month the future of SFR would depend in part on whether regulators approved network-sharing deals or mergers. ($1 = 0.7666 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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