French regulator the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) has submitted draft decisions on the assignment and allocation of 700MHz frequencies to the Electronic Communications Advisory Committee (CCCE, Commission Consultative des Communications Electroniques). 2×30MHz of 700MHz spectrum will be freed up between April 2016 and June 2019 thanks to improvements in digital terrestrial TV (DTT) compression standards, the so-called ‘second digital dividend’. Arcep hopes to adopt the finalised proposals in early July this year, with calls for applications to be sent out later that month.
The watchdog has set a base price of EUR416 million (USD473.2 million) per 2×5MHz block and no buyer is allowed to purchase more than three blocks (2×15M Hz). Further, bidders will not be allowed to exceed a cap of 2×30MHz of combined spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz bands. Arcep is aiming to hold the auction in Q4 2015, with the licences to be allocated by the end of the year.