France plans for C-Band/5G deployment

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French transmission regulator ARCEP (l’Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des Postes) has published and submitted to government its thoughts and recommendations on how the 3.4-3.8 GHz spectrum bands can be restructured for 5G.

ARCEP says: “The 3.4-3.8 GHz band is the core band for 5G whose deployment promises to make French businesses more competitive and drive innovation, in addition to satisfying users’ expectation of having access to increasingly powerful mobile services.”

William Beavington, an analyst at investment bank Jefferies, says: “A number of [ARCEP’s] plans strike a chord with the European TowerCo thesis: four equal sized blocks [on sale] with no one MNO able to buy more than one (pro-MNO competition); rapid deployment (2020 first 2 cities); extensive coverage (10,500 sites by 2025); 25 percent of sites must be non-urban; all roadways must be covered by 2027 (not just motorways); only 15 year licence, extendable by 5 years subject to meeting some commitments; as for reserve price – nothing in the ARCEP document – the government sets the price but the press speculation is for minimum auction proceeds of €2.2 billion.”


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