Paris, 25 March 2010
The rollout of new generation ultra high-speed mobile networks in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands is one of the central issues of the next few years.
As a result, preparatory efforts aimed at laying the groundwork for these new technologies began several months ago, in accordance with the overall spectrum strategy announced by the Prime Minister on 12 January 2009, in tandem with ARCEP. Following the publication of an executive summary of the public consultation on 15 January 2010, in concert with market players, ARCEP will be devoting efforts throughout the first half of 2010 to preparing the procedures to be used for awarding spectrum licences.
ARCEP believes that that it is very important that the players perform technical demonstrations and trials when preparing to deploy these new networks. To this end, it reminds concerned parties that it can issue them with temporary spectrum licences for carrying out technical demonstrations or trials, subject to the approval of the Ministry of Defence and CSA, which are the current users of the frequency bands.
Around ten trials are currently underway in France in the 2.6 GHz band, and several more are in the approval stage. These trials, which are being performed by telcos and equipment manufacturers, notably within innovation hubs, will help fine tune the hardware and services that will be rolled out over the next several years.
As the date for the call for submissions for longer-term licences enabling the rollout of these new networks draws near, ARCEP has stated that it will continue to issue temporary licences right up until the start of the awards procedure. These temporary licences could be valid, at most, up to the date on which the operators that have been issued long-term spectrum licences want to take possession of the frequencies. Those players who are planning to undertake or extend technical trials are invited to submit their requests to the Authority, by post, by 30 June 2010.
Once the call for submissions has been issued, it will be up to players wanting to perform new trials in one of the frequency bands allocated to an operator to contact that operator to examine the possibility of having temporary access to their spectrum.