5G auctions postponed because of the health crisis in France
Arcep announced that the allocation of 5G frequencies could not take place on April 21 because of the current health crisis in France. It will be postponed to a later date.
Once again, the 5G calendar is turned upside down. Arcep said it was unable to maintain the auction. The latter were scheduled from April 21 and are postponed to an unknown date. It is obviously the current situation in France, linked to the health crisis, which pushes the telecoms regulator to make this decision. The college of Arcep must meet this Thursday, March 19 to possibly decide on a new date for the allocation of 310 MHz of frequency spectrum.
SFR, Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile and Orange had all four submitted their files at the end of February in order to participate in the auctions . The operating authorizations had to arrive at the latest in June 2020. We will still have to wait. Not enough to upset the French mobile operators, already responsible for completing the deployment of 4G on the territory and extending the coverage of the fiber network. The current period, which sees fixed and mobile networks overloaded by the influx of teleworkers, hardly lends itself to auctions for the next generation.
As a reminder, the government has set a reserve price of 2.17 billion euros for all the frequencies to be allocated. A financial windfall expected in a necessarily complicated period for the State, taking into account the costs generated by the management of the health crisis.
This new delay will also allow operators to address certain concerns related to 5G and find alternatives to Huawei equipment, whose presence at the heart of the future network is more than ever pending.