Communiqué de presse

ARCEP opens the authorisation application procedure in the 2.1 GHz band for Overseas départements, in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy and Mayotte

Paris, 30th January 2008

ARCEP is opening today the 3G authorisation issuance procedure on a first-come-first-served basis in the 2.1 GHz band for Overseas départements and collectivities. It is also presenting the manner in which the authorisations will be allocated for projects meeting IMT-2000 standards.

The opening of this procedure follows interest expressed by several players in deploying 3G networks in the Overseas départements and collectivities, interest expressed through the public consultation regarding the introduction of third-generation mobile communication systems in these areas. A summary of this public consultation was published by ARCEP on 16th October 2007.

The consultation confirmed the relevance of attributing authorisations through a first-come-first-served process, it showed that attributing a first 5-MHz carrier would appear to be sufficient to launch a 3G commercial activity, and also showed strong demand from players to fill frequency assignments.

Opening 2.1 GHz band

The band opening concerns both parts of the 2.1 GHz frequency band which had been designated at the international level for third-generation mobile systems. One, corresponding to two paired 60 MHz duplex sub-bands (1920 – 1980 and 2110 – 2170 MHz), is used by systems in FDD mode, and the other sub-band (1900 – 1920 MHz) is used by systems in TDD mode.

Authorisations will be issued separately in each of the Overseas départements or collectivities: Martinique, Guadeloupe, Guyana, the cities of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, Réunion, Mayotte and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. Because of their new status as territorial units since 9th July 2007, Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy are considered separately from Guadeloupe.

ARCEP’s consideration of frequency requests

For each player's first request, ARCEP plans to assign a single 5 MHz carrier. Each player will initially be required to cover 30% of the population and commercially launch voice and data services within two years of receiving its authorisation. Plus, players must commit to a population coverage threshold within five years of receiving their authorisation. This threshold may not be less than 70%. These two obligations affect each authorised collectivity and the FDD and TDD bands separately.

Should certain players make subsequent frequency requests, ARCEP will deal with them on a case-by-case basis. In order to appreciate the proper use of frequencies, ARCEP will take into account the quantity of 900/1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz frequencies already assigned to the applicant, the efficiency of the technology used, the services offered, the number of 3G customers and the volume of 3G voice and data traffic. Before examining the application, ARCEP will ensure that the applicant is up to date in respecting its deployment obligations and in the payment of taxes and fees.

A review will be performed in 2011

Frequency use and the advancement of the first-come-first-served assignments of all authorised operators will be reviewed on 30th June 2011. This will help to ensure the process is appropriate for actual use and changes to 3G.

Furthermore, in order to prevent excessively rapid consumption of the band, each département or collectivity will be reviewed if two-thirds of the FDD part of the 2.1 GHz band is assigned before 30th June 2011.

Authorisation conditions

The authorisation will terminate on 30th April 2025 regardless of the date at which the license is allocated between the band opening and 30th April 2010.

There are two types of financial expenses associated with frequency allocation: fees defined in November 2006 by the Budget Minister and the Minister of Industry, and the repayment of the Fonds de Réaménagement du Spectre (FRS) to Martinique and Réunion, the amounts of which are set by the Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR). The means are described in the attached "Financial expenses" document.

Application deposit

After meeting the operator registration obligations, players wishing to request frequencies in this band are invited to submit their application files to ARCEP as per the instructions in the attached "Application file format" document.

Linked documents

Smiley Financial expenses (pdf - 181 Ko) applicable to frequency use in the 2.1 GHz band in the DOM, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy and Mayotte as of 1st November 2007 Smiley

Expected format for applications for frequencies in the 2.1 GHz band in the DOM, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy and Mayotte at 1st November 2007

Smiley Christian Estrosi's speech, secrétaire d'Etat à l'Outre-mer (pdf - 473 Ko) (pdf)  Smiley

Smiley Paul Champsaur's speech, président de l'Arcep (pdf - 90 Ko) (pdf)  Smiley