government responds to criticism

Pending the auction for the allocation of 5G frequencies In the 3.5 GHz band which will not be launched until next spring, the government has announced the reserve price of the auction, namely the minimum amount that operators will have to pay to access frequencies.

This was set at 2.17 billion euros, which did not fail to react the telecom operators. By counting the actual part of the auction which will put the players in competition for obtaining additional blocks of 10 MHz (with a reserve price of € 70 million by block) to add to the fixed part of 50 MHz, The total amount could climb much higher even as the process imposes hedging obligations with a tight schedule to ensure fairly rapid deployment.


Faced with the discontent manifested, both in the choice of the fixed block and the reserve price, the government justifies an amount it does not intend to change by relating the cost of the 50 MHz block (for exclusive use for 15 years) to 350 million euros per operator, less than in neighboring countries, where it has ranged from 380 million euros in Britain to more than 1 billion euros on the Italian side, reports the newspaper The echoes., even if in other countries the amount has been much lower.

The reserve price is still higher than what Arcep estimated (1.5 billion euros), especially since the regulator was talking about a final auction price, not a floor price .

The Authority has also displayed a certain reservation on the choice of fixed blocks of 50 MHz and not 60 MHz as requested by the operators, which risks tightening the auction for the remaining blocks and ultimately leading to the scenario that all world wanted to avoid …

In the meantime, the government is consolidating the schedule by indicating that frequencies will have to be allocated by now June 2020.