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France’s 5G spectrum to be sold at $2.4 billion

France 5G spectrum

Arcep is expected to raise funds from the sale without exerting financial strain on telecom operators

France’s 5G spectrum will be sold at $2.4 billion, the media reported. This pricing is significantly higher than the amount previously suggested by the country’s telecom regulator Arcep. 

Arcep is France’s telecom regulatory authority. Earlier this week Arcep’s President Sebastien Soriano said that the minimum price for the spectrum’s sale should not be more than €1.5 billion.

“The floor (price) that we’re proposing seems reasonable to us,” Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told a French media Les Echos. “It’s up to the government to assume its responsibilities and decide.”

Arcep led the sale of 5G spectrum last week after months of discussions between the country’s four telecom operators and authorities. The discussions mainly focused on how to deploy the new mobile technology. 

The sale process was postponed largely due to disagreements between the finance ministry and the telecom operators. These disagreements were over the spectrum’s auction and the minimum price for the 5G bloc, the local French media reported.

French authorities are expected to raise funds from the sale without exerting financial strain on the telecom operators. This way the technology can also be deployed swifty. 

Germany and Italy have raised nearly €6.5 billion each through the 5G spectrum auctions. The amount is expensive for the industry and has raised concerns among the four French telecom operators, the local media reported.

The four telecom operators are Orange, Altice Europe, Iliad and Bouygues. These operators’ margins are hurt from an extended price war. 

The French government announced that the country’s 5G mobile services roll out will commence next year. Arcep started the process in September—and all the major French telecom players must bid to the government by the end of the year.

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