Prices have now been fixed for the 310 MHz of spectrum in the 3.4–3.8 GHz band that Arcep announced it would award last month

The French government has given the go ahead to specifications proposed by the nation’s telecoms regulator, Arcep, for the sale of 5G frequency licences. The financial conditions for this sale have also been set, with officials pricing a block of 50 MHz of spectrum at €350 million, with each additional block of 10 MHz at €70 million.

The spectrum auction is expected to generate around €2.2 billion for the French government.

The spectrum for sale is in the 3.4–3.8 GHz band, the core range used within the rest of the European Union. 
“These 5G coverage commitments are much more ambitious than in other European countries and will in future constitute a strong element of our country’s competitiveness,” explained the French Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, Agnes Pannier-Runacher.
This sale comes alongside “strong deployment obligations” from the French regulator, stipulating that each operator must launch 5G services in at least two cities in 2020 and deploy 3,000 sites by 2022. This required number of sites will increase to 8,000 by 2024 and 10,500 by 2025.
Arcep is also seeking to ensure coverage of sparsely populated areas, targeting economic activity, especially manufacturing. The regulators current proposal is that 25% of the new 5G sites in the last two stages must provide service to these more remote areas.
The announcement marks the removal of the last bureaucratic obstacle that stands in the way of the French deployment of 5G. Arcep has announced its readiness to begin the 5G auction in the coming year, with the sale likely to take place in April. 
Official notification is expected before the end of the year, with operators being given 8 weeks to formally apply before the sale.
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