France gears up for WiMax

The French telecoms regulator announced that 45 companies, including France's incumbent mobile operators, and consortia have applied to operate WiMax systems in the 3.4 GHz to 3.6 GHz band. Candidates were asked to submit applications for licenses in 22 regions of France and its territories. In 2006 we'll see a slew of auctions or concessions for WiMax licenses throughout Europe, which has generally allocated the 3.5 GHz band for WiMax. In the U.S., the potential of WiMax is less strong because the 3.5 GHz band is encumbered.

While the WiMax Forum is pushing FCC to release more spectrum suitable for WiMax systems, it is focusing on the best prospects today: the 5.8 GHz unlicensed band and the 2.5 GHz licensed band. That's why WiMax backers are keeping their fingers crossed that Sprint Nextel, which owns the most spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, announces plans to use WiMax in the band. Analysts say Sprint Nextel could announced a preferred technology as early as April, before WiMax mobile solutions are available.

For more about WiMax licensing in France:
- read this article from TMCnet