French regulator Arcep builds on know-how of colleagues in 3.4-3.8 GHz auction

French regulator Arcep brought together representatives of national regulatory authorities (NRA) from 15 countries of the EU for a mutual exchange of know-how from organising 5G auctions. The draft terms of the auction in the band 3.4-3.8 GHz in Metropolitan France was subject to public consultation from mid-July to 4 September.

Following these various consultations, Arcep will finalise the auction terms and submit the document to the Government in order to proceed with the auction still in autumn.

There were attendees from 15 EU member states at the Arcep workshop, including Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. The European Commission was also represented.

Topics included awards procedures, the quantity of spectrum awarded, the type of obligations imposed on operators and the coexistence of networks in the band.

In the preparation of the 5G auction the Arcep regularly teams with their European counterparts, in particularly those from Germany, Italy and the UK to discuss lessons learned from the past award procedures.

Germany auctioned spectrum in the bands 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz and raised in total €6.5bn. The auction, which was completed in June 2019, saw four successful bidders – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Germany (O2), as well as a new entrant 1&1 Drillisch, a virtual mobile operator controlled by the German company United Internet.

In Italy, the 5G auction in the bands 700 MHz, 3.7 GHz and 26 GHz, which was completed in October 2018, had five successful participants: Telecom Italia (TIM), Vodafone, Wind Tre, the newcomer Illiad and the ISP Fastweb. The total auction proceeds amounted to over €6.5bn.

The UK distributed spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz band in April 2018. The successful bidders were O2, Vodafone, EE and Three. Total proceeds amounted to £1.356bn.

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