Paris, 6 January 2017
Today Arcep is launching a two-month public consultation whose purpose is to query stakeholders on future uses of several frequency bands, including the 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands, and on the methods used to allocate these bands. An allocation of these frequency bands may be scheduled for the second half of 2017.
The bands being examined today are particularly attractive as:
- They are being used to develop LTE (Long Term Evolution) technologies, used for 4G mobile networks;
- and 5G technologies are expected to be developed in some of the bands.
Ultrafast internet access, the digitisation of enterprises, the Internet of Things, 5G… Frequency bands adapted to future needs.
The document being published for consultation seeks to identify the needs that these frequencies could satisfy, notably for the following:
- public mobile services, currently 4G and later 5G;
- wireless ultrafast internet access, which can provide a complementary solution for bringing ultrafast access rapidly to those areas where wireline rollouts are difficult to perform;
- professional mobile networks’ (PMR) transition to ultrafast access, which a number of businesses, notably transportation and energy infrastructure operators, deploy for their own operational needs;
- to enable the Internet of Things to grow and thrive.
Aim of the consultation: to take an inventory of stakeholders’ needs, identify the frequency bands best suited to each application, and explore allocation methods.
In its public consultation, Arcep questions which applications could develop in each band. To satisfy the stated requirements, it also proposes the methods to be used to allocate frequencies to the players wanting to deploy fixed internet access services or PMR networks.
A comprehensive approach to seize the opportunities opened up by the 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands
As a reminder, on 30 March 2016 Arcep launched a period of experimentation in the 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands. Some 10 trials are thus underway today, to study the possibilities that LTE networks offer in these bands.
The lessons learned from these trials, along with the feedback from the public consultation, will enable Arcep to determine effectively how the 2.6 GHz and 3.5 GHz bands could contribute, in the short term, to ultrafast fixed access and PMR network rollouts and, in the medium term, to deploying 5G.
Arcep thus proposes to identify and allow for the allocation of 40 MHz in the 2.6 GHz band for PMR networks, and 40 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band for fixed wireless ultrafast networks in rural areas, starting in the second half of 2017. The remainder of the 3.5 GHz band will later be made accessible for 5G, once the technology is more mature. The public consultation will make it possible to confirm this scheme or, if necessary, to establish an alternative scheme
Stakeholders are invited to submit their contributions before 6 March 2017.