France’s telecommunications authority Arcep has actually announced the finalization of the last step in the 5G spectrum award procedure and also confirmed that the fifteen-year licences will be issued to the nation’s four network operators on 18 November.
Following the sale of 310 MHz of spectrum in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band, the regulator held a “positioning” public auction at the end of October to determine where the blocks bought by operators will be placed in the band.
This last step resulted in Free Mobile safeguarding its preferred positioning for EUR 3.1 million, placing SFR’s 80 MHz block at the start of the band (3.4 GHz) as well as Orange’s 90 MHz block at the other extreme, with Bouygues and also Totally Free Mobile (70 MHz each) in the central bands alongside SFR and also Orange respectively.
Arcep has also announced the production of a 5G roll-out control panel, which will record progress on a number of indicators. The first dashboard will certainly follow shortly after the launch of commercial services. The regulator is planning to release the number of 5G cells by band, with regional mapping of both 4G+ and 5G sites, along with the percentage of 4G+ sites providing services with a maximum speed of 240 Mbps. For a matter of transparency, the location of sites that operators intend on turning on within a three-month duration will be made public from very early 2021.
Arcep published the roll-out obligations related to the 5G licences in mid-July. Since then, it has actually waived the requirement for operators to launch 5G services in at least two cities prior to the end of 2020 as well as has lowered the number of sites that each network need to deploy before 2025 (10,500 from 12,000 previously).