France’s national telecoms regulator Arcep said yesterday it has received bids from each of the country’s main mobile operators for parts of the spectrum band it has set aside for fourth-generation (4G) mobile services. The watchdog is initially auctioning spectrum in the 2600MHz band and in a statement confirmed it has received interest from France Telecom (Orange), Vivendi-backed SFR, Bouygues Telecom and newcomer Free Mobile, a unit of Iliad Group. Although the regulator stopped short of providing details on how much spectrum each operator is bidding for, or the price they have tendered, the outcome on the so-called ‘lower-quality’ bandwidth is expected to be revealed by mid-October. Bids for the premium 800MHz band, which are set to yield a higher overall price, are due by 15 December 2011. The French government hopes to raise at least EUR2.5 billion (USD3.4 billion) through the 4G auction.