French telecoms regulator Arcep has adopted two decisions authorising mobile operators Bouygues and SFR to use the 2100MHz band for LTE services, following the cellcos’ requests to allow technological neutrality in the band. Arcep said that the new decisions will allow the duo to improve their 4G speeds, while also stating that Orange France and Free Mobile have the option of submitting similar requests to the regulator.
TeleGeography notes that Arcep launched a tender for four UMTS concessions in the 2100MHz band in December 2000. The authority revealed in February 2001 that it had received two formal applications by the 31 January deadline, with Orange France and SFR subsequently granted 3G concessions in August 2001. In December Arcep re-launched the contest for the remaining two licences, and the sole bidder, Bouygues Telecom, was awarded a 2100MHz concession in September 2002.