France’s Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, Arcep) has revealed that the auction for the allocation of spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band will be held on 16 November.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the government is planning to free up 2×30MHz of spectrum in the 703MHz-733MHz/758MHz-788MHz bands between April 2016 and June 2019 thanks to improvements in digital terrestrial TV (DTT) compression standards, the so-called ‘second digital dividend’. In September 2015 it was revealed that all four domestic mobile operators – Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange France and Numericable-SFR – submitted applications for participation in the spectrum tender. The 700MHz licences (which will be allocated by the end of the year) will come with a base price of EUR416 million (USD454.7 million) per 2×5MHz block, with no buyer 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.