2 Feb 2011
France’s telecoms regulator Arcep has published its preliminary decision giving the go ahead for operators in French Overseas Departments and Territories (DOM-TOM) to reuse their GSM mobile spectrum for 3G services. The countries covered by the watchdog’s decision are Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and Reunion. It is understood Arcep has received seven responses to its public consultation on the proposals, which would allow cellcos to re-farm the 900MHz band for UMTS. The regulator has formulated a set of guidelines to enable it to process applications for the aforementioned concessions, as well as for dealing with any requests for changes to existing licences in DOM-TOM markets. Arcep’s proposals cover the use of the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands for 3G mobile services. Finally, on the question of assigning new frequencies for ultra-high speed mobile and wireless licences, the regulator says the process could begin in earnest in 2012, while the terms and conditions for allocating spectrum in the 800MHz band will be dependent on its assessment of the level of competition in the overseas departments and territories.