The auction was postponed in April, due to Covid-19 containment, and the regulator has now published a schedule for the auction to begin in September.
The French telcoms regulator now plans to allocate spectrum in the 3.4GHz to 3.8GHz bands between 20 and 30 September. A further, positioning, auction will follow in October to decide the bidders’ positions within bands, and licences will be awarded in November at the latest.
Arcep will no longer insist that operators launch 5G services in at least two cities by the end of this year.
In February, in prepartion for the original auction, Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile (Iliad), Orange and SFR signed up for a fixed-price offer covering 50MHz of compatible spectrum costing €350 million.
All are expected to take part in the rescheduled auction. Arcep’s target is to raise €2.2 billion from 11x10MHz blocks of spectrum.