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    French government opens 4G auction


    France’s telecoms regulator ARCEP has officially opened the spectrum allocation process for 800MHz and 2.6GHz frequencies.

    Interested parties have until 15th September 2011 for the 2.6 GHz band, and 15th December 2011 for the 800 MHz band. The Authority will be allocating 2.6 GHz-band spectrum in autumn 2011 and 800 MHz-band spectrum in early 2012.

    On 31st May 2011, ARCEP adopted terms for the spectrum allocations that said that the amount of spectrum that any operator will be awarded cannot exceed a 15 MHz duplex in the 800 MHz band and a 30 MHz duplex in the 2.6 GHz band.

    Moreover, should there be four eligible candidates for the 2.6 GHz-band frequencies, each carrier is guaranteed to receive a 15 MHz duplex if it has applied for this quantity of spectrum. The procedures also include a scheme that is designed to encourage carriers to open their networks up fully to mobile virtual network operators (full MVNOs).

    The government has set the minimum price for the frequencies at EUR2.5 billion and has attached strong coverage requirements to the allocation process.