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Arcep accepting applications for 3G and 4G spectrum in overseas markets

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The French telecoms regulator has Arcep proposed to the Government that it issue a call for 4G network deployments in Guadeloupe, Guyana, R union Martinique, Mayotte, Saint Martin and Saint Barth lemy.

The Government issued these calls for applications on Friday, 29 January 2016.

The purpose of this process is to allocate spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands that remains unassigned in these overseas markets, along with still available spectrum in the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands. These allocations will give operators the means to deploy 4G and to continue to develop their 3G networks.

The deadline for submitting an application with Arcep has been set for 12 pm on 10 May 2016.

Arcep plans on completing the allocation procedure in 2016. It will issue licences to the winning operators which will then be able to roll out 4G services before the end of the year.

On the specific matter of Réunion and Mayotte, Arcep decided to provide a framework for commercial 4G rollouts, and to set a launch date of 1 December 2016. Competition has been particularly fragile in these markets since SRR and Outremer Telecom merged in late 2014. A new operator emerged following an injunction that the Competition Authority issued to SFR-Numericable to divest itself of the Outremer Telecom mobile business.

To maintain a lasting market structure of at least three operators, Arcep and the Government decided that the launch date for 4G should be postponed for several months, i.e. until 1 December 2016.

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Tags: arcep  Guadeloupe  Guyana  Reunion  Martinique