French government launches 5G award procedure

18 Dec 2019

The French government has launched a procedure for the assignment of 5G frequency authorisations, following approval of the specifications proposed by telecoms regulator Arcep and the financial conditions for the concessions. The government has set the price of the 50MHz blocks of 3.4GHz-3.8GHz spectrum at EUR350 million (USD386 million), while the additional blocks of 10MHz will cost EUR70 million. Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said that the government and Arcep have designed a mechanism to sell 50MHz basic blocks at a fixed price to telecom operators, though the concessions come with strict obligations to deploy 5G networks across the French territory: ‘These 5G coverage commitments are much more ambitious than in other European countries and will in future constitute a strong element of our country’s competitiveness.’ Arcep meanwhile said in a separate statement that it plans to sell 310MHz of spectrum; operators will be given 15 years to pay for the four 50MHz blocks on offer, while the additional 10MHz ranges will be payable over four years.

France, Arcep