Officials in Elysee, Matignon and Bercy have confirmed President Francois Hollande’s decision to allocate frequencies in the 700MHz band to telecom services, La Tribune reported. According to the article, the Ministry of Finance, the President’s Office and the Prime Minister’s Office have decided to assign the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA) and Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) with the task to auction the 700MHz spectrum to telecommunication services by the end of next year, in order to ‘generate revenue for the state as quickly as possible, by the end of 2014 or in early 2015’. The regulator Arcep is expected to launch an auction for the spectrum band in November 2015, with projections that the tender might attract up to EUR3 billion (USD3.93 billion) for the treasury.
The 694MHz-790MHz spectrum band in France is currently used by Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). According to the CSA’s plans, the platform is set to migrate to MPEG-4 AVC by 2015 and DVB-T2 by 2023. However, should the 700MHz allocation plans go forward, it is unlikely that the DTT platform would be able to offer all television services in high-definition as scheduled.