The auction framework for obtaining 5G frequencies has just been formalised by the Government. This framework letter, signed by the Minister for Cohesion of the Territories and the Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy, should enable Arcep to develop the process.
This letter defines in particular the constraints that will weigh on the winning operators. On the one hand, on the wallet side: it is a question of finding a "balance" between making the State's frequency assets grow and preserving the operators' capacity to invest in infrastructure. While both departments agree that "valuation should leave room for network development", they ask that "price is a substantial criterion for allocations".
On the other hand, on the coverage side: the Government warns that "the commercial service will have to be launched from 2020 to cover several cities" in return for the 5G licences awarded.
However, 5G deployment obligations will not be as stringent as those imposed to extend 4G last year throughout the country.
As for companies, the Arcep will have to "ensure that the operators who will benefit from authorisation will enable vertical players to apply for and benefit from 5G services under financial and operational conditions adapted to their needs, including in sparsely populated areas of the territory".
The Government has set the bar high by asking for the best of both worlds. It remains for the Arcep to include all this in the specifications of the 5G auctions scheduled for next autumn.
Source : DegroupNews