Arcep, the French telecom authority, has finally started the ball of a long-awaited sale of 5G spectrum rolling on Thursday which put a full stop against the intensifying debate between authorities and the country’s four major carrier companies on how to deploy the new lightening fast mobile communication technology in a best possible way.
The detailed procedure, that is scheduled to be concluded with an auction in Spring of 2020 for part of spectrum, will allow four major players Bouygues Telecom, Altice Europe’s SFR, Iliard and Orange to have a unambiguous idea of the money required by them to deploy the 5G technology in the country.
The telecoms authority and the Finance Ministry of France were not in agreement over the specifics of the spectrum to be auctioned and the minimum price for the 5G frequency blocs, which postponed the spectrum’s auction process, as told two sources that were close to the matter to Reuters on Tuesday.
Finding the right balance between raising cash from the spectrum’s sale and to avoid putting an extra financial burden on telecom operators enabling them to deploy the expensive technology in the country at a faster pace were the main points of focus of the French authorities.
Through the auctions of 5G spectrum, Italy and Germany succeeded raising 6.5 billion euros, but that huge amount raised by each of the country came shocking the telecom industry in France and raised concerns among the four major telecom operators of the country which are already operating with thinner margins in the prolonged price war.
As per framework for auction submitted by Arcep, the spectrum within the 3.4-3.8 gigahertz bandwidth for a total of 310 megahertz (MHz) would be put on sale in two phases. In the first phase, four of the telecom operators would be offered with four blocs of 50 MHz at a fixed price for each operator in case they make commitments regarding their coverage in certain territories, while remaining 110 MHz will be put on sale in blocs of 10 MHz.