French telecoms watchdog the Authority of Regulation for Electronic Communications and Posts (Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, Arcep) has published final details of the frequency allocation process for spectrum in the 3410MHz-3460MHz range. The spectrum has been earmarked for fixed-wireless services, to provide high-speed broadband access to customers in areas that will not be served by fibre networks for the foreseeable future. The licensees will be required to provide downlink/uplink speeds of at least 30Mbps/5Mbps 95% of the time, with retail offerings to include options with no download cap. In terms of coverage obligations, licence holders will also be required to offer – directly or indirectly – broadband services to 90% of the households within its licence area within 18 months, rising to 100% by 1 January 2022. Further, the operator is required to begin using the frequencies within twelve months of the licence allocation. Arcep will accept applications for the licences from early 2018 until 31 December 2019. The concessions will be issued on a departmental basis, with the regulator noting that the available spectrum differs slightly from department to department; in some cases, existing spectrum allocations will limit the new licences to a single 20MHz (TDD) or a 2×10MHz (FDD) block.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Arcep opened a public consultation on the allocation process in July this year, which ran until early September.