Mobile telephony

Mobile Coverage

900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz frequency allocation procedures: Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR have filed applications with Arcep

Paris, 2 October 2018

On 2 August 2018 an order (pdf - 131 Ko) was issued to launch the call for tenders, with a view to the reallocation of 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz band frequencies which are currently being used for 2G, 3G and 4G, and whose licences are set to expire between 2021 and 2024. The deadline for submitting applications was set for 12 pm on 2 October 2018.

Arcep received applications from the following candidates:

- for the 900 MHz band: Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR;
- for the 1800 MHz band: Bouygues Telecom, Orange and SFR;
- for the 2.1 GHz band: Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR.

Coverage obligations of unprecedented ambition, as part of the New Deal for Mobile

These frequency allocation procedures are part of the New Deal for Mobile: on 14 January 2018, acting on a proposal from Arcep, the Government announced an historic agreement that seeks to provide high-quality mobile coverage to every person in France. This New Deal for Mobile marks an unprecedented escalation in nationwide mobile coverage targets, and the Government chose to make territorial cohesion a priority in the allocation procedures. As a result, rather than focus on financial criteria, the Government elected to steer operators' efforts towards investment by writing in unprecedented coverage obligations.

What comes next: Arcep will examine the applications to ensure their eligibility and qualification

Arcep will now examine the candidate's applications, to ensure they satisfy the procedures' eligibility and qualification criteria. Once this examination is complete, Arcep will publish the list of qualified candidates for each procedure and, if necessary, will ask those candidates to submit an additional set of commitments, by a date and time to be determined.