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French regulator sets date for 5G auction

The auction of frequencies to be used for 5G services in France is slated to take place between Sept. 20 and Sept. 30, media and electronic communications regulator ARCEP said in a June 11 statement.

A positioning auction in October will determine the distribution of frequencies, followed by the award of licences, expected in October or November.

The auction was initially scheduled for April.

Bouygues Telecom SA, Iliad's Free Mobile, Orange SA and Altice France SA's SFR were deemed qualified to participate in the 5G auction, which will include the remaining 11 blocks of 10 MHz in the 3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz bands. Each operator can acquire a block of 50 MHz for €350 million.

Due to the auction delay, ARCEP lifted its requirement for each operator to deploy 5G services in at least two cities before the end of 2020. The regulator will instead require operators strengthen 4G access and ensure that a minimum of 75% of cell sites are 4G+ enabled by the end of 2022.