ARCEP invites players interested in the award of the fourth 3G licence to submit their candidacy

Paris, 3 August 2009

On 12 January 2009 the Prime Minister, in tandem with ARCEP, announced an overall spectrum allocation strategy for mobile networks.

The strategy includes the allocation of frequencies that are still available in the 2.1 GHz band, to be used by 3G networks, and the launch of allocation procedures for digital dividend spectrum in the 2.6 GHz and 800 MHz frequency bands, which will enable the rollout of ultra-fast mobile networks (4G) over the next decade.

Available spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band corresponds to a bandwidth of 14.5 MHz, and will be assigned through two separate and successive procedures: a first call for candidates for a block of 5 MHz reserved for a new entrant (holder of the 4th 3G licence), followed by a second call for candidates for the award of the remaining frequencies available in that band.

The call for candidate submissions for the award of the fourth 3G licence was launched through an order issued by the Minister responsible for industry, which was published in the Official Journal of 1 August. This launch follows ARCEP’s adoption of a decision on 16 July 2009 which proposes to the minister the methods and terms for awarding a licence to 2.1 GHz-band spectrum in Metropolitan France for the purpose of establishing and operating a third generation mobile telephony system.

This decision, along with a decree setting the financial terms and conditions of the operation, were published in the Official Journal on the same day.