France will opt for a mixed tender format, where some of the spectrum is auctioned to the highest bidder and some is allocated directly to the operator

France’s telecoms regulator, Arcep, has said that it intends to proceed with a 5G spectrum auction later this year and also allocate licences directly to operators based on infrastructure investment.

The licences will initially be granted on a 15-year basis with the option for a 5-year extension, according to a report by Reuters.

Arcep wants to guarantee even distribution of 5G across the country, hence the decision to combine an auction with an independent allocation process.  

Operators will be keen to avoid paying over the odds for spectrum at auction, with the industry still reeling from the $7.5 billion raised at Germany’s recent auction.

Orange Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Iliad are all eyeing 5G launches in France in the second half of 2020.

The frequencies are due to be allocated by Arcep to the operators in September 2019, with the remaining spectrum being auctioned off after that.

Earlier this month, the Principality of Monaco launched 5G services, in collaboration with Huawei. 

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