The investment will be made by telcos in France in exchange for extended spectrum licences

France is to generate $3.7 billion in investment in its 4G networks, with the aim of eliminating coverage black spots by 2020, according to a government minister.

The French government’s plan would see each of France’s major operators install around 5,000 antennae and masts, in a bid to significantly boost 4G coverage across the country. 

Speaking to French weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche, Julien Denormandie, junior minister for territorial cohesion, said that he wanted to do away with "bad" network coverage. 

Denormandie also confirmed that this initiative would not be funded by the French government but would come from the telcos themselves. 

"Not a single cent will come from the budget," he said. 

Instead, it is believed that the French government will agree to extend spectrum licences for the telcos, in exchange for the increased investment. 

The investment in new infrastructure is expected to bring 4G coverage to an additional 10,000 villages in rural France, who are currently served by 2G and 3G networks.  

A recent report published by OpenSignal showed France languishing near the bottom of the global 4G coverage table. 4G coverage in France averaged just 62.51% in 2017, significantly lower than the UK (71.34%), Belgium (79.51%) and The Netherlands (84.92%).