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French regulator says SFR and Bouygues can use 2.1 GHz band for 4G

The two French operators want to repurpose spectrum currently being used for 3G and the regulator Arcep has got no problem with that.

Scott Bicheno

June 19, 2017

1 Min Read
French regulator says SFR and Bouygues can use 2.1 GHz band for 4G

The two French operators want to repurpose spectrum currently being used for 3G and the regulator Arcep has got no problem with that.

SFR and Bouygues specifically asked permission to use the 2.1 GHz band for 4G, saying it will help improve their 4G speeds. There is apparently an underlying principle of technological neutrality applied to the 2.1 GHz band in France, so this ruling seems like a bit of a formality.

At the very least the need to get such a move rubber-stamped by Arcep offers transparency regarding operator spectrum plans and, for some reason, Orange and Free have yet try the same move. “Free Mobile and Orange have the option of submitting a similar request to Arcep, should they so desire,” said the Arcep announcement.

As you can see from the Arcep diagram below, SFR has around 20 MHz of FDD and 5 MHz of TDD spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band, while Bouygues has a bit less FDD. Meanwhile Orange has the same amount as SFR, while Free only has 5 MHz of FDD so it might have decided it’s not worth the effort of repurposing.

Arcep-France-spectrum-allocation.jpg

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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