ARCEP publishes the results of the awards procedure for 4G licences in the 2.6 GHz frequency band

Paris, 22 September 2011

Today ARCEP is publishing the results of the awards procedure for licences to use the 2.6 GHz frequency band. These frequencies are to be used in the deployment of ultra high-speed (4G) mobile networks whose maximum data rate must be at least 60 Mbps, and so significantly faster than currently available 3G connections.

ARCEP accepted the applications of all four companies, which were received on 15th September 2011:

  • The firm Bouygues Telecom will be allocated a duplex frequency block of 15 MHz, for which the company bid the sum of €228,011,012 and made a commitment to host MVNOs on its network.

  • The firm Free Mobile will be allocated a duplex frequency block of 20 MHz, for which the company bid the sum of €271,000,000 and made a commitment to host MVNOs on its network.

  • The firm Orange France will be allocated a duplex frequency block of 20 MHz, for which the company bid the sum of €287,118,501 and made a commitment to host MVNOs on its network.

  • The firm Société Française du Radiotéléphone (SFR) will be allocated a duplex frequency block of 15 MHz, for which the company bid the sum of €150,000,000, and did not make a commitment to host MVNOs on its network.


All of the frequencies that were available have thus been allocated.

The procedure therefore achieved its objectives of increasing competition in the mobile market by allocating 2.6 GHz-band spectrum between mobile network operators in a balanced fashion, and of obtaining significant commitments with respect to the hosting of mobile virtual network operators (under a full MVNO model).

The allocation of these frequencies also translated into a strong valuation of State property, bringing in the sum of €936 million – compared to the reserve price of €700 million.

In the coming weeks, ARCEP will issue the winning candidates with licences to use their respective frequencies, once it has determined each operator’s position on the 2.6 GHz band. For this determination, ARCEP will examine the wishes that each candidate has expressed in regard to position, in the following order – which corresponds to the average mark per 5 MHz duplex: Bouygues Telecom, Orange France, Free Mobile and, lastly, SFR.

The allocation procedure for the 2.6 GHz band marks the first stage in the award of 4G licences. The second stage will consist of the allocation procedure for the 800 MHz band, resulting from the digital dividend, for which the deadline for applications is 15th December 2011.


Linked documents

Smiley Décision° 2011-1080 (pdf - 453 Ko) relative au compte rendu et au résultat de la procédure d’attribution d’autorisations d’utilisation de fréquences  dans la bande 2,6 GHz en France métropolitaine pour établir et exploiter un réseau radioélectrique mobile ouvert au public  Smiley  Smiley