Through a decision No. 2011-1080 of 22 September 2011, Autorité de Régulation de Communications Électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP) has selected applications from Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange France and SFR as part of the allocation procedure for 2.6 GHz band frequencies, which are used in the deployment of ultra high-speed (4G) mobile networks whose maximum data rate must be at least 60 Mbps.
The allocation procedure for the 2.6 GHz band is the first stage in the award of 4G licences. The second stage will consist of the allocation procedure for the 800 MHz band, resulting from the digital dividend, for which the deadline for applications is 15 December 2011.
Of the four telecoms operators selected, three (Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile and Orange France) made commitments to host MVNOs on their respective networks. Duplex frequency blocks of 15 MHz were allocated to Bouygues Telecom and SFR (for which these companies bid €228,011,012 and €150,000,000, respectively). In turn, duplex frequency blocks of 20 MHz were allocated to Free Mobile and Orange France (for which the companies bid €271,000,000 and €287,118,501, respectively).