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4G/DIGITISING THE ECONOMY

Arcep launches a public consultation on the terms and methods for allocating 2.6 GHz TDD band spectrum to support professional mobile radio networks' transition to 4G 

Paris, 6 March 2018

Today Arcep is launching a public consultation on the terms and methods for allocating 2.6 GHz TDD band spectrum for professional mobile radio (PMR) networks, using LTE technology that underpins 4G, in Metropolitan France.

On 22 June 2017, Arcep published a synopsis of the contributions it had received to its public consultation on "New frequencies for the regions, businesses, 5G and innovation", launched on 6 January 2017. At the time, Arcep announced plans to dedicate the central 40 MHz of the 2.6 GHz TDD band (i.e. the 2575 - 2615 MHz sub-band) to enabling PMR networks' upgrade to LTE. The purpose of today's public consultation is to implement the guidelines set forth on 22 June of last year.

PMR networks, which still use narrowband (2G) technologies from the 1990s, concern a great many businesses in France. Some are now gradually moving over to mobile operators' networks. Others, however, which have specific coverage and quality of service requirements, want to be able to operate their own network. And, as their current equipment is becoming obsolete, the businesses using these networks want to upgrade them to 4G.

The document being published today for public consultation sets out the terms and methods that Arcep plans to employ to allocate these frequencies, along with the obligations that would be attached to the resulting licences. Stakeholders have until 22 April 2018 to submit their contributions and remarks.

After having taken this feedback into account, Arcep plans on publishing its final document in June, detailing the terms and methods for allocating 2575 - 2615 MHz band spectrum, before carrying out the first allocations, according to demand, starting in September 2018.



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