France moved to open up more spectrum frequencies to vertical sectors as part of efforts to accelerate the deployment of industrial 5G use cases in the country.

The government and regulator Arcep announced industrial players can apply to access frequencies in the 3.8GHz to 4.0GHz band until the end of 2022.

Businesses in sectors including manufacturing, logistics, energy, health, smart city and more will each be able to make use of a 100MHz block in this band for three years to trial different use cases.

Arcep stated businesses will have access to a “mature and varied ecosystem of terminals and equipment” because of the band’s proximity to the core 5G band (3.4GHz to 3.8GHz).

Vertical sectors are already permitted to use frequencies in the 2.6GHz and 26GHz bands in France. Arcep also plans to simplify access to the 2.6GHz TDD band by creating a new portal for applicants.

The move to open up more spectrum comes after France unveiled a series of measures to boost industrial 5G in the nation.

A report published by Philippe Herbert, president of Mission 5G Industrielle, identified a total of seven reasons why industrial use is dragging its heels in France compared with other European countries.

These include poor access to relevant spectrum frequencies, the insufficient availability of suitable equipment and services, difficulty in finding the right skills, and the lack of maturity of French and European industrial 5G ecosystems.