The French telecoms regulator Arcep will today open the 3G authorisation process, on a first-come-first-served basis, for rights to offer services in the 2.1GHz band in the overseas departments of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy and Mayotte. The industry regulator said it will also present the manner in which the authorisations will be allocated for projects meeting IMT-2000 standards.
In a statement, Arcep said the move follows interest from a number of players wishing to deploy 3G networks in the overseas departments stemming from a public consultation in October 2007. It is understood authorisations will be issued separately in each of the departments: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, the cities of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy, Reunion, Mayotte and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Because of their new status as territorial units since 9 July 2007, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy are considered separately from Guadeloupe, it added. For each player’s initial request, Arcep plans to assign a single 5MHz carrier. Successful 3G licence holders will initially be required to cover 30% of the population and launch commercial voice and data services within two years of receiving their licence. Licensees must also commit to achieving population coverage of 70% within five years of receiving their authorisation.