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Free Mobile awarded LTE spectrum in the 1800MHz band

22 Dec 2014

French telecoms regulator the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) has issued a licence authorising domestic cellco Free Mobile to use 5MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band throughout Metropolitan France (excluding Paris, Nice and Marseille) from 1 January 2015. The wireless operator will be awarded an additional 5MHz on 1 April 2015 to offer services in Marseille, while its final 5MHz batch of frequencies will be released on 1 July 2015, covering Nice and Paris.

TeleGeography notes that in March 2013 the regulator published its guidelines for the refarming of 1800MHz spectrum for Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, by stating that these frequencies would become technology neutral from 25 May 2016; the guidelines aim to ensure balanced allocation of spectrum between the country’s three established mobile operators – Orange France, Bouygues and SFR – and newest entrant Free Mobile. The watchdog also said that operators could request for the technology restriction to be lifted before then, with Bouygues Telecom applying for permission to use the 1800MHz band for LTE services in March 2013.

France, Arcep, Free Mobile

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