France agrees procedure for allocating 5G spectrum

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The French government has launched a procedure for assigning 5G spectrum licences after approving specifications proposed by the telecoms regulator, Arcep.

This includes a mechanism making it possible to sell 50 MHz blocks to telcos for a fixed price.

France has set the price for a 50 MHz block at €350 million, with an additional 10 MHz at €70 million euros.

Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said, “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.”

Strong obligation

Operators have a strong obligation to deploy networks across France, she noted.

Pannier-Runacher said last month that 5G spectrum would be sold at a floor price of €2.17 billion.

Arcep will use frequencies in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band, with a total allocation of 310 MHz of spectrum. The regulator will include four blocks of 50 MHz at  €350 million, with the remainder offered in blocks of 10 MHz at €70 million each.

Payments for the 50 MHz blocks could be staggered over 15 years, and for the 10 MHz over four years, Arcep said.