Bouygues Telecom, which paid EUR602 million (USD714.3 million) for a 70MHz block of 3.5GHz spectrum in the recent French 5G auction, has confirmed that it will switch on its 5G network on 1 December 2020. Looking further ahead, Bouygues expects to achieve nationwide coverage within one year of launch. In its 9M20 report the telco’s parent company, industrial group Bouygues, explains: ‘To roll out its 5G network, Bouygues Telecom has decided simultaneously to install new antennas, using the newly acquired 3.5GHz frequency band, and to gradually migrate existing 4G frequency bands to 5G. At the same time, the company will continue to densify its network in terms of both capacity and coverage, especially in very dense areas which is necessary for both 5G and 4G. The goal is to have over 28,000 sites by 2023.’
TeleGeography notes that the Authority of Regulation for Electronic Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, Arcep) granted the winning bidders permission to launch 5G from 18 November. The other successful bidders were Orange France (90MHz, EUR854 million), Altice France (80MHz, EUR728 million) and Free Mobile (70MHz, EUR602 million).