French overseas territories likely to receive LTE auction details by year-end

18 Sep 2014

A trio of senior French politicians have indicated that the French overseas territories (‘departement d’outre-mer’, DOM) should see the 4G licensing process get underway ‘by the end of the year’. Reunion-based website Clicanoo quotes a joint statement from Emmanuel Macron, the Minister of Economy, Industrial Renewal and Information Technology, Overseas Minister George Pau-Langevin and Secretary of State for Digital Affairs Axelle Lemaire as saying: ‘The new frequencies allocated to Reunion, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy will enable telecom operators to offer them better 3G broadband services, and, for the first time, to offer their customers 4G mobile broadband.’ To proceed, the government needs to approve the draft specification document drawn up by Arcep, but the trio are optimistic of progress before the end of the year.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, back in July 2013 Arcep unveiled a ‘broad public consultation’ covering mobile frequency assignments in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz and 2600MHz spectrum bands, with a view to facilitating the introduction of LTE. The process was successfully concluded in February 2014, and a formal tender was expected to be introduced in 1H14, only for the regulator to miss its self-imposed target.

French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint-Martin, Arcep