Four line up for France’s second 4G licence auction

16 Dec 2011

The French telecommunications regulatory authority Arcep says it received a total of four bids for 4G mobile licences in the 800MHz band by yesterday’s deadline. The watchdog confirmed that Orange France, Vivendi-backed SFR, Bouygues Telecom and newcomer Free Mobile, a subsidiary of fixed and broadband operator Iliad, have submitted bids, although it declined to say how much each has offered. The four cellcos have already secured 4G concessions to offer services in the 2600MHz band. The 800MHz licences under offer in the second auction are for the so-called ‘golden frequencies’, which deliver a stronger signal over a greater distance. The government hopes to raise at least EUR1.8 billion (USD2.33 billion) in the second auction, the results of which will be announced in the next few weeks.