Major French telecom groups are applying for 4G mobile spectrum auction

By Money Times

Oct 05, 2015 01:14 AM EDT

France will soon get a boost in internet speed as its telecoms regulator ARCEP announced on Tuesday that it had received applications for the upcoming 4G mobile spectrum auction. 

The auction saw all four major mobile carriers in the country including Bouygues Telecom, Iliad, Orange, and Numericable-SFR submitting their application to participate in the event.

Business Insider reported that the 4G spectrum auctioned is for the 700 megahertz airwaves which was previously reserved for television broadcast.

Mobile World Live detailed that there are six airwaves block of 2x5MHz to be auctioned and each mobile carriers are allowed to hold only three blocks according to ARCEP's guideline.

An announcement will be made by the French regulator in October on which company will be allowed to enter the auction.

The auction will be held in November this year and the government is expecting to obtain a minimum of 2.5 billion euros from the auction as each block of 4G spectrum will be auctioned at a starting value of 416 million euros according to Reuters.

The low-frequency spectrum is in high demand by the mobile carrier as it could speed up its network speed. The internet speed in the country is getting slow due to an increase in the data traffic usage by the French as the mobile has become part of everyday life.

The auction is part of ARCEP's future planning where it is planning to ensure the French city center will get 100 percent network coverage by the end of 2027. The agency also said that the government is planning to make sure 40 percent of the population to be able to enjoy the internet network by the end of 2020.

This is not the first spectrum auction held by the French government as they had managed to raise 2.639 billion euros in December 2011. The money raised through the auction of the 800 MHz airwaves spectrum.

The government considered the spectrum airwaves as the intangible asset and could help bring revenue to the country. The French government is also planning to encourage investment in the communication industry among the mobile carriers through this auction. The majority of the revenue raised from this auction will be diverted to the country's defense budget.

Earlier in June this year, Germany had done a similar process of auctioning its 700 MHz spectrum. The government manage to raise 5.08 billion euros through the two weeks intense bidding process.

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