France to hold 700MHz spectrum auction on November 16

France is to kick off its 700MHz spectrum auction on November 16, according to the country’s regulatory agency.

All four operators in the country – Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR – will participate in the auction. 

France will be auctioning six blocks of 5MHz, with a single price set for each block, at a reserve price of €416 million a block. 

In the first round of bidding, the regulator will ask the operators how many blocks they are willing to purchase. In each subsequent round, it will then increase the price per block by €5 million over the previous round.

According to Arcep, Free Mobile can request up to three blocks while the remaining three operators can request up to two blocks. 

The regulator said it expects to issue the spectrum licences to winners by the end of 2015.