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Orange and Telco OI win additional 700 MHz spectrum in French auction

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Spectrum allocation for Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mayotte

French telecom authority Arcep has announced the results of the 5G spectrum auctions for the remaining blocks of 700 MHz paired spectrum still available for two of its overseas territories in the Indian ocean, Réunion and Mayotte.

Selection procedures for the allocation of frequencies in the 700 MHz and 3.4 - 3.8 GHz bands in Réunion Island and in the 700 MHz and 900 MHz bands in Mayotte were launched by the French government on August, 2021 .

Eight candidates had successfully applied to participate in the auction for Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, known for the diversity of its landscapes. Four operators applied for the spectrum in Mayotte, also in the Indian Ocean off East Africa between Madagascar and Mozambique. 

The spectrum in Réunion was contested by Orange, SRR, Telco OI and Zeop Mobile. Almost the same candidates lined up to contest for spectrum in Mayotte except that Zeop Mobile was replaced by Maoré Mobile.

Orange and Telco OI win

Orange and Telco OI were the auction winners, with each securing a block of 5 MHz in Reunion for €5.03 million. They both paid the same price for their allocations in Mayotte. The average cost of spectrum blocks worked out to be €1.05 million each.

Telco OI trades under the brand Only in Mayotte and under the name Free in Reunion. The operator is a 50:50 venture owned by Iliad and Axian.

The acquisition of a second block of 5 MHz, in addition to one secured in November, brings Orange’s overall spectrum holding on the island to 184.8 MHz across all frequency bands. This total includes the recent allocation of 3.5 GHz spectrum in the first stage of the award process, representing a block of 100 MHz for Orange, SRR and Telco OI (80 MHz for Zeop Mobile).

Arcep will issue the licences for 700 MHz and 3.5 GHz frequencies at the end of March 2022 in both Réunion and Mayotte.