France launches 700MHz spectrum auction

7 Aug 2015

French telecoms regulator, the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep), has launched a call for applications for the allocation of spectrum in the 703MHz-733MHz/758MHz-788MHz bands. All interested parties are invited to submit their bids by 29 September 2015.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Arcep submitted its draft decisions on the assignment and allocation of 700MHz frequencies to the Electronic Communications Advisory Committee (CCCE, Commission Consultative des Communications Electroniques) in June 2015. 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 has set a base price of EUR416 million (USD454.7 million) per 2×5MHz block and no buyer is allowed to purchase more than three blocks (2×15MHz). Further, bidders will not be allowed to exceed a cap of 2×30MHz of combined spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz bands. The authority is aiming to hold the 4G auction in Q4 2015, with the licences to be allocated by the end of the year.

France, Arcep