France’s auction for the allocation of 700 MHz band spectrum will begin on November 16th, with four candidates taking part: Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR. Telecoms regulator ARCEP will issue an update on the status of the auction at the end of each day, up until the end of the procedure which could take one or several days. These updates will include:
ARCEP will not provide any details on the requests made by the candidates while the auction is still ongoing.
Once the auction is complete, ARCEP will issue a communiqué on the quantity of spectrum awarded to each candidate, and the price paid for the frequencies.
The 700 MHz band is currently being used by DTT services. The French Government decided that, with improvements to DTT compression standards, it was possible to free up the 700 MHz band, and to allocate 2 × 30 MHz to mobile operators to enable them to keep pace with the exponential increase in mobile data traffic. This band will be freed up progressively across the country between 2016 and 2019.