Communiqué de presse

The Government and ARCEP will begin 4G spectrum licence awards procedures in the French overseas territories in the first half of 2014

Paris, 20 February 2014

From 17 July to 30 September 2013, the French Government and the Electronic Communications and Postal Regulatory Authority (ARCEP) held a broad public consultation on the allocation of new frequencies in France's overseas territories - primarily with a view to furthering the development of 4G superfast mobile broadband networks in these regions. The consultation attracted 16 responses from mobile operators, new entrant candidates, one local authority and one media company. Today, the Government and ARCEP are publishing both a summary of this feedback, and the responses in their entirety.

This consultation made it possible to obtain stakeholders' views on the issues surrounding and methods used for allocating these frequencies, to better understand the possible market structures in these territories - particularly new operators' interest and role in the market - and to take stock of stakeholders' spectrum requirements in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz and 2600 MHz bands, whether for 2G, 3G or 4G systems.

The consultation also revealed that currently available spectrum was not enough to satisfy the stakeholders' requirements. As a result, in accordance with Article L.42-2 of the French Postal and Electronic Communications Code (CPCE), competitive selection procedures need to launched in Reunion, Mayotte, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy.

Arnaud MONTEBOURG, France's Minister for Industrial Renewal, Victorin LUREL, Minister for the Overseas Territories, Fleur PELLERIN, Minister attached to the Minister for Industrial Renewal, responsible for Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy, and ARCEP will be issuing calls for applications in the first half of 2014.

These procedures will endeavour to achieve the following goals, in a balanced fashion: increase market competition such that consumers in the overseas territories have access to high quality services at an affordable price, in the same way that consumers in Metropolitan France do; digital regional development; stimulate innovation and adoption; stakeholders' competitiveness and local job creation.

Together, the General directorate for competition, industry and services (DGCIS), the General directorate for the overseas territories and ARCEP have already begun to prepare for the calls for applications, and the concerned government departments will meet with local authorities from the overseas territories on 6 March of this year.

For the collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the frequency requirements expressed by the stakeholders who responded to the consultation are compatible with the resources available in the different frequency bands used for mobile services. In accordance with CPCE Article L.42-1, this spectrum can thus be allocated as stakeholders request it, without requiring a call for applications.

Linked documents

Summary of the public consultation (pdf - in French only)
Contributions received from the public consultation (zip - in French only)