Arcep awards 2100MHz frequencies to SFR, Orange

19 May 2010

France’s national telecoms regulator Arcep has assigned the final two allocations of ultra-high speed wireless frequencies in the 2100MHz band to France Telecom Orange and Vivendi’s SFR. The spectrum comprises a 5MHz block and a 4.8MHz block left over after the successful award of the fourth 3G mobile licence to Iliad’s Free Mobile in January. Applications for the remaining spectrum were sent out on 25 February 2010, with Arcep receiving three bids on 11 May – from Free Mobile, Orange and SFR. It is understood that SFR has been awarded to 5MHz block with an offer of EUR300 million (USD371 million). The Vivendi-controlled unit also chose to commit to so-called ‘level 1 for hosting MVNOs’ and to position this block of spectrum between the frequencies operated by Free Mobile and those for Orange. Meanwhile the 4.8MHz block has been awarded to FT’s mobile arm which tendered a bid of EUR282.1 million and also chose to commit to level 1 for hosting MVNOs. The latest award brings the total amount raised (including Free Mobile’s licence) to more than EUR820 million.

France, Orange France, SFR