Paris, 3 december 2010
ARCEP is preparing an upcoming call for applications for the allocation of 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz band frequencies, to be used for the deployment of ultra high-speed mobile networks, commonly referred to as fourth-generation or 4G. The spectrum is expected to be awarded to the winning candidates in the first half of 2011, and so paving the way for the introduction of ultra high-speed mobile services in the coming years.
To help stakeholders lay the groundwork for these new networks, ARCEP is issuing temporary authorisations for specific locations to allow the players who so desire to conduct technical trials.
As a result, several dozen trials in the 2.6 GHz band have already been authorised, or will have been by the start of December. In addition, ARCEP issued the first temporary authorisation for a trial in the 800 MHz band on 16 November 2010, and is processing further requests concerning this band.
As stated in its press release of 25 March 2010, ARCEP will continue to issue temporary authorisations while also guaranteeing that candidates who apply for long-term licences in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands will have complete details on all of the authorised trials, prior to the deadline set for submitting their application. Any party wanting to conduct a trial must therefore submit a request to this effect within a timeframe that complies not only with the deadline for applications for long-term licences, but also the period needed to process their application, which will include a consultation with the current users of these bands namely the Ministry of Defence and, for the 800 MHz band, the French Broadcasting authority (Conseil supérieur de laudiovisuel). Once these deadlines have passed, and the spectrum has been allocated, it will be up to players wanting to perform new trials to contact the operators that have been awarded the spectrum to examine the possibility of obtaining temporary access to their frequencies.
As concerns the 800 MHz band, because of the timetable that has been set, ARCEP is willing to examine all requests to conduct trials submitted before 15 January 2011.
Meanwhile, the deadline for requests to perform trials using the frequencies in the TDD portion (2570-2620 MHz) of the 2.6 GHz band, which will be allocated after 2.6 GHz-band FDD (2500-2570/2620-2690 MHz) and 800 MHz spectrum, has been extended by several months.
ARCEP Decision no. 2010-1235 (pdf - 100 Ko), of 16 November 2010, assigning spectrum resources to Alcatel-Lucent to allow the company to perform technical trials at a site located in Lannion. (in French only )