ARCEP has giving this morning a briefing on the actions being taken on frequency allocation for the development of broadband and ultra fast mobile networks (3G and 4G), and on the trials underway between operators on the possible methods for mutualising optical fibre network installations.

Paris, 5th March 2009

4G: the Authority is launching a public consultation on the methods to be employed for awarding spectrum licences in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands.
This consultation is the first stage in the frequency allocation process. The goal is to prepare a long-term process of investment in ultra-fast mobile networks.
Regional development is a central part of the procedure. Thanks to its propagation properties, the 800 MHz frequencies from the digital dividend are very well suited to achieving broad national coverage, which is why they have been assigned to electronic communications.

3G: the decision proposing the launch of the frequency allocation procedure in the 2.1 GHz band for the fourth 3G licence was adopted by the Authority and transmitted to the Government.
The obligations contained in the call for candidates are the same as those that were included in previous calls for submissions.
The procedure includes selection criteria similar to previous calls for candidates. The selection criteria concerning the access candidates will provide to MVNOs was specified, taking account of the work performed by ARCEP and the Competition Authority (Conseil de la Concurrence) in 2008.

Fiber: ARCEP has held a press conference on the trials that are underway between the different operators on systems for sharing optical fibre network installations.
They involve some 20 sites and close to 2,000 households and are expected to enable ARCEP and the market players to deepen their mutual understanding of the technical, operational and economic issues involved in mutualisation.
A briefing will be conducted in late March under the aegis of the Secretary of State responsible for Economic Prospective and Development of the digital economy. At that time, the Authority will issue its first ultra-fast broadband scorecard.
And, finally, the Authority has already published a decision that establishes the principles and mechanisms for operators to exchange information on fibre-equipped buildings.