Paris, 4 April 2013
In a letter dated 19 July 2012, Bouygues Telecom sought ARCEP's permission to operate a fourth-generation (4G) ultra high-speed mobile network based on LTE technology, using its spectrum in the 1800 MHz band - on which only GSM (2G) systems are permitted today.
ARCEP examined this request using a transparent and collaborative process. Once the investigation was complete, ARCEP informed Bouygues Telecom of the new terms and conditions that would be attached to this permission in a decision dated 14 March 2013, which was also published on the Authority's website. This decision included the proviso that, should it chose to do so, Bouygues Telecom would be able to reuse the 1800 MHz for technologies other than GSM starting on 1 October 2013, provided it relinquish some of its spectrum, as specified in the decision.
In accordance with the applicable regulation, Bouygues Telecom had one month to withdraw its request, in which case the terms of its licence would remain unchanged.
In a letter received on 2 April 2013, Bouygues Telecom confirmed its request to have the restrictions lifted on how it can use the 1800 MHz band frequencies it has been allocated, and accepted the terms set by ARCEP.
As a result, today ARCEP adopted the decision amending the terms of the licence that permits Bouygues Telecom to employ frequencies in the 1800 MHz band, in keeping with the stipulations set in the ARCEP decision of 14 March 2013.
The licensing fees attached to this ability to use these frequencies without being restricted to a given technology are stipulated in Decree No. 2007-1532 of 24 October 2007 and amended by Decree No. 2013-238 of 22 March 2013.
ARCEP opinion n° 2013-0514 (pdf - 253 Ko) (in French only)