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France considers 700 MHz band

France’s telecoms regulator ARCEP has published a summary of the contributions to its consultation on a strategic review of spectrum for superfast mobile, which ran from December 16th 2014 to February 16th 2015.

At a time when mobile Internet traffic continues to increase at a tremendous pace, the purpose of the consultation was to examine the two courses of action that would help continue and accelerate the ongoing modernisation of mobile networks:

  • refarming existing frequencies, using more efficient technologies;
  • making new frequencies available, notably those in the 700 MHz band.

The document submitted to consultation received 46 contributions from a wide variety of market stakeholders, including telecoms operators, equipment suppliers, trade associations and local authority associations. ARCEP welcomes mobile operators’ interest in 700 MHz band frequencies, which are vital to the future development of superfast mobile.

The public consultation made it possible to confirm the past and upcoming exponential increase in data traffic on superfast mobile networks. Three courses of action can be taken to meet this challenge, according to ARCEP:

  • make access technologies more efficient;
  • optimise network architectures;
  • make additional frequencies available.

The feedback from stakeholders will help deepen ARCEP’s forward-looking analysis of all of the topics addressed during the consultation. In the short term, they will inform the work that ARCEP is doing on forthcoming 700 MHz band allocations in Metropolitan France.

In tandem with the Government, ARCEP will now finalise its draft of the call for applications that will make it possible to allocate these frequencies. The target is to issue the call in July 2015.

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