The country is also in the process of reviewing its security criteria for its mobile network architecture

France’s telecoms regulator will auction off 5G spectrum in Autumn 2019, with licences expected to be granted in early 2020, according to the country’s junior telecoms minister, Agnes Pannier-Runacher.

"The government will fix the political framework in spring. Arcep (the telecoms regulator) will then establish the specific requirements, which will be certified in autumn," Pannier-Runacher told French news site, Le Figaro.

"The auction will then be launched with attributions at the start of 2020," she added.

Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Iliad are all expected to participate in the auction, which will be the first opportunity for French telcos to obtain the spectrum that will underpin their 5G network rollout, later in 2020.

France is currently in the process of reviewing the security criteria relating to its mobile telecommunication networks and is planning legislation to strengthen the vetting process for would be network equipment providers.

"It’s perfectly understandable that the government is concerned about questions of national security in its mobile network. Carriers want to make sure the new regulations will keep allowing them to benefit from a real and effective competition between equipment providers so as to get the best tariffs and technology available. We are satisfied to hear that the government isn’t targeting a provider in particular," Didier Casas, the president of Federation Francaise des Telecoms, told the Bloomberg news site. 

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