France receives bids for 800MHz spectrum – Mobile World Live

France receives bids for 800MHz spectrum

16 DEC 2011

The French government is aiming to raise almost EUR2 billion from the sale of a second batch of 4G spectrum, reports Reuters.

The French regulator, Arcep, said yesterday that local operators France Telecom (Orange), SFR, Bouygues and Iliad had all submitted offers for 800MHz bandwidth, but did not disclose how much each company had bid.

France auctioned off 2.6GHz spectrum in September, raising EUR936 million. But the more valuable 800MHz spectrum – which works better across long distances – could fetch twice as much. The government has set a total (minimum) target of EUR2.5 billion for the sale of 4G licences.

In the earlier auction, France Telecom and soon-to-launch new mobile player Iliad won two larger blocks of 20MHz, while SFR and Bouygues got 15MHz each. Analysts predict that SFR, the country's second-biggest mobile operator, would bid aggressively in the second round since it had not received as much spectrum as it wanted in the first.

Illiad will also be closely watched as the new player surprised many by outbidding two of the incumbents in the first round.