France’s telecoms regulator Arcep is said to be planning to postpone the 5G spectrum auction to an unspecified date due to the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg writes. A spokeswoman for the authority was quoted as saying that Arcep ‘won’t be able to maintain the auction planned for mid-April’, and plans to ‘organise the frequency sale for a later date once more information is available.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Arcep revealed in February 2020 that four companies submitted applications for the allocation of frequencies in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band in mainland France, namely Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange France and Altice France (previously SFR). All four candidates requested the allocation of one of the four 50MHz blocks that will be awarded in exchange for optional commitments set forth in the procedure. Arcep said at the time it would examine the applications and draw up a list of qualified applicants for the 50MHz blocks. Bidders for the frequencies still available after the allocation of the 50MHz blocks would be subject to a selection procedure (by financial criteria) which would take place in April, so that the authorisations are issued in June 2020 at the latest.