The French government said on Tuesday it had initiated a licensing process after approving specifications proposed by the communications regulator and the financial conditions for 5G spectrum licences. The French government said in a statement that it had set the price of the 50 MHz band at 350 million euros ($386 million) and the 10 MHz band at 70 million euros ($78 million).
Agnes Pannier-Runacher, France’s deputy economy minister, said in a statement that the government and Arcep, france’s telecoms regulator, had devised a mechanism to sell the 50 MHz base band to telecom operators at a fixed price. In return, operators are obliged to deploy their 5G networks on French territory. “This 5G network coverage commitment is far more ambitious than other European countries and will be a powerful factor in our national competitiveness in the future,” she said. ”
Pannell-Runache said last month that 5G Spectrum would be sold at a base price of 2.17 billion euros ($2.42 billion).
Arcep said in a separate statement that it will use the 3.4GHz to 3.8 GHz band spectrum, which will include four 50 MHz bands at a cost of 350 million euros ($390 million) and the rest at 10 MHz at a cost of 70 million euros. The statement added that payments in the 50 MHz band could be staggered within the next 15 years and the 10 MHz band could be staggered within four years.
The move comes after a disagreement between France’s finance ministry and the telecommunications authority over the lowest price for spectrum auctions has raised concerns that the distribution process could be delayed.