French telecoms regulator Arcep has revealed that the main auction for the allocation of spectrum in the 700MHz band in French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin has now been concluded.
Regarding French Guiana, four operators participated in the tender, those being Digicel, Free Caraibe, Orange Caraibe and Outremer Telecom (SFR). The four candidates have each been allocated one of the four 2×5MHz blocks in the 700MHz band which will be awarded in return for agreeing to fulfil commitments set out by the procedure. Digicel and Orange also secured an additional 2×5MHz in the band for EUR1.80 million (USD1.98 million) each.
A total of four companies bid for 5G-suitable frequencies in the 700MHz band in Saint Barthelemy, namely: Dauphin Telecom, Digicel, Free Mobile and Orange Caraibe. Dauphin Telecom and Free Mobile have each secured 2×5MHz in the band (for EUR24 and EUR2,000 respectively), while Orange walked away with 2×10MHz (EUR11,051). Regarding Saint-Martin, Orange secured 2×10MHz in the 700MHz band (EUR11,051), while Dauphin Telecom and Free were granted 2×5MHz each (EUR24 and EUR2,000 respectively). Digicel failed to secure any 700MHz spectrum in both Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin.
Further, Arcep revealed that Free Mobile will be allocated 2×4.8MHz in the 900MHz band in Saint Barthelemy; Free Mobile and Orange qualified to participate in an auction for the spectrum in December 2022, but following the latest allocations in the 700MHz band Orange has exceeded the cap on low band spectrum holdings and is therefore excluded. The exact position of the blocks will be subject to an auction, which will take place in Q2 2023.
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