Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mobile phones: the race for 4G is officially open

The start of the call for applications for frequency allocation mobile fourth generation (4G) in France has been given, Wednesday, June 15, with the publication in the Official Journal (OJ) orders which set conditions. "The 4G represents a new stage of the digital revolution and will help to multiply by 50 the speed of mobile Internet", stressed in a statement the ministers of economy and industry, Christine Lagarde and Eric Besson.

A decree arrested and four detail the conditions for granting such licenses, which the reserve price - the minimum level for the auction - is set at a total of 2.5 billion euros. The deadline for submission of applications to Arcep, the French telecoms regulator, is set for the 2.6 GHz band (high frequencies) to 15 September at 24:00 and the 800 MHz ( low frequencies) to December 15 to 12 hours.

2.6 GHz frequencies will be awarded in the fall, while those of the 800 MHz band will be the beginning of 2012. "MECHANISM OF CEILING" The specification provides for the obligation to cover 98% of the French population by twelve years and 99.6% within fifteen years for the 800 MHz and cover 75% by twelve years for the 2.6 GHz.

Bercy states that "the award procedure guarantees the presence of at least four operators" in the 2.6 GHz band. Regarding the 800 MHz band, "a ceiling mechanism guarantees that no operator can have more than half of the frequencies. In addition, the procedure leads to the reception of mobile virtual network operators," small ones do not have own network (known as MVNOs).

Currently, three operators have a 3G mobile license and potential candidate for 4G licenses: France Telecom, SFR (Vivendi), Bouygues Telecom, and Iliad (Free) in the coming months will be the fourth largest operator.

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