To keep pace with mobile networks’ ongoing evolution, three new bands are being examined in Metropolitan France: the 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands, which have been identified as the pioneer bands for 5G, as well as the 1.5 GHz band, otherwise known as the L band (1427 – 1517 MHz).
The 1.5 GHz band has been harmonised across Europe since 2015. It has 90 MHz that can be used to satisfy data download requirements. These frequency bands’ propagation properties are particularly appealing for providing both nationwide coverage and indoor coverage.
This band is currently being used for point-to-point backhaul links on public and professional mobile networks, and by the Ministries of the Interior and Defence. The objective set at the European level is to make it available for mobile networks by 2023.
Arcep confirms its Decision to set 31 December 2022 as the final deadline for new 1.5 GHz band licences (including renewals)
With a view to allocating the band to future mobile services, in keeping with the objective set at the European level, Arcep held a consultation that proposed not to issue any more licences in this band for fixed service point-to-point (microwave) links that extend beyond 2022. Arcep has confirmed this recommendation: it also plans to set 31 December 2022 as the final deadline for issuing new licences (including renewals). Several frequency bands are open to being used to deliver fixed services, as indicated in Arcep Decision 2017-1332, notably the 6 GHz band which has been open since 2017.
Arcep is also recommending that the work that is currently underway under the aegis of the National Frequency Agency on coexistence with the mobile satellite service, and the deployment of more robust associated terminals be undertaken with this same end goal in mind.
Lastly, Arcep will continue its dialogue with the band’s users, including France’s Ministries of Defence and of the Interior, to enable the band’s release and with a view to its future allocation to mobile services.