Orange takes broadest range in France’s 5G auction
02 October 2020 | Melanie Mingas
Orange has won the broadest range of 5G spectrum in France following the country’s auction of the 3.5GHz band.
Securing 90 MHz, Orange now has the broadest range of 5G frequencies of the French operators and the largest portfolio of frequencies on the French market: 257 MHz of frequencies in total, according to the firm.
This is represented with 90 MHz of 3.5 GHz, plus two 83.5 MHz in other bands, from August 2021. In total the auction, which concluded yesterday, fetched €2.17 billion.
Stéphane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange, said: “With these auctions, we have just taken an essential step forward in making the networks of the future a reality. We are very satisfied with the way this auction process went; the result is well balanced and encourages operators to invest.
Orange paid €854 million for 90 MHz, with payments spread over four to 15 years depending on the block. The company said its acquisition of the frequencies was a “essential industrial investment” that would maintain and strengthen its market position.
Richard added: “With 90 MHz of 5G spectrum, Orange will be able to consolidate its leadership in mobile networks and will develop an efficient 5G network, a guarantee of attractiveness and competitiveness in France,” he added.
In addition to 5G capabilities, Orange said the frequencies would “preserve its ability to invest in the deployment of fibre networks and in the improvement of 4G coverage in rural areas,” ultimately delivering “very high-speed broadband” across France. It also committed to offering the offer “best 5G experience to its customers”.
French regulator Arcep, which led the auction, said Orange asked for five blocks, followed by SFR and Bouygues Telecom both with three, and Iliad with two blocks.
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