French to consult (again) on 3G licence

The French regulator ARCEP has launched a public consultation process to canvass opinion on the assignment of the remaining frequencies in the 2.1GHz band. These assignments are of particular importance to potential greenfield operators who, if allocated 2.1GHz spectrum, will also be able to gain access to the 900MHz band. The announcement of a public consultation is the latest move in the ongoing saga of French 3G spectrum allocations. In April 2008 the French Government announced that the application procedure it launched in March 2007 regarding the assignment of the remaining 2.1GHz band frequencies had been unsuccessful. The Government therefore invited ARCEP to hold a public consultation with the aim of having a solution by the end of September 2008. French broadband provider Iliad applied for the fourth licence in October last year but the application was rejected by ARCEP on the grounds that it failed to meet the necessary financial criteria. Iliad has indicated that it is still interested in obtaining the fourth 3G licence. The consultation process closes on the 18th of July.

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