In order to launch the new generation of mobile networks, operators must be allocated frequencies by the end of the year. The first 5G antennas will thus be able to flourish and the flow rates will explode as early as 2020.
Across Europe, the 5G flagship band is the one between 3.4 GHz and 3.8 GHz - 400 MHz theoretically available to operators to water their customers with high-speed Internet.
The only problem is that, in France, this strip is already partially occupied by tenants who have no desire to empty the premises before the end of their lease in 2026. Among these cumbersome tenants are the Wimax licensees. This radio technology from the early 2000s was intended to provide broadband in rural areas through dedicated radio antennas.
A household is required and concerns two actors who are seated on 30MHz each: Bolloré Télécom (now Wifirst) throughout France and SFR in Ile-de-France and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Arcep cannot therefore revoke their rights of use, even though frequencies are crucial for 5G. And Bolloré knows it. He is ideally placed today to recover. All he has to do is wait. The manufacturer can sit on it until 2026, use it himself to make 5G or even rent these frequencies to a third party.
But to make matters worse, the Arcep cut the 5G gang again a few months ago. The Telecom Constable has dedicated 50 MHz of his 400 MHz stock to "THD Radio" as part of the government plan to provide Very High Speed Internet access to all French people by 2022. And this until 2026.
On the Arcep side, it is stated that "there are no difficulties". Embarrassed, however, the regulator explained to Les Echos last summer that there could well be "only" 280 MHz of spectrum to auction... 30% less than the 400 MHz identified by Europe. Since the Authority has been studying its options, but nothing is moving.
Source : Les Echos.fr