France studies 3G in the 900 MHz band

France's telecoms regulator said it is looking at allowing operators to use the 900 MHz band to deliver 3G services since the band offers better economics in terms of propagation and in-building penetration. France's ARCEP said it will launch a public consultation on this in the fall to determine whether the distribution of the 900 and 1800 MHz bands will have to be redefined. Operators throughout Europe aren't allowed to deploy UMTS over their GSM frequencies, but operators are complaining about the expense of rolling out UMTS in rural areas over the 1800 MHz band. In January, Nortel revealed that it had successfully completed UMTS and HSDPA trial calls over 900MHz spectrum with Orange France.

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