French regulator Arcep has named the companies planning to bid in its upcoming auction of 5G-ready spectrum in the Caribbean.
TeleGeography reports that spectrum in the 700MHz and 3.4GHz-3.8GHz bands will be available in French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint-Martin, while additional airwaves in the 900MHz and 2.1GHz bands will also be put to auction in Saint Barthelemy.
Four firms have applied to bid for 5G spectrum in Saint-Barthelemy and Saint-Martin: Dauphin Telecom, Digicel, Free Mobile and Orange Caraibe. Each bidder has requested to receive one of the four available 50MHz blocks in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band, although they will be required to meet certain obligations for this request to be granted. Free Mobile and Orange Caraibe have also submitted applications for spectrum holdings in Saint-Barthelemy’s 900MHz band and 2100MHz bands.
Arcep now plans to review the applications before deciding on the candidates permitted to bid in the 700MHz, 3.4GHz-3.8GHz, 900MHz and 2.1GHz auctions. In addition, it will finalise the allocation of the 50MHz blocks of 3.4GHz-3.8GHz spectrum for both Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy. The auctions will then ensue in the following weeks, with the licences slated for issue by July 2023.
In French Guiana, Digicel, Free Caraibe, Orange Caraibe and Outremer Telecom (SFR) have applied to bid for 700MHz and 3.4GHz-3.8GHz spectrum. Four 2x5MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum are available, and all four operators have requested one, with the agreement that they will abide by the attached commitments.
Following this allocation, additional spectrum available in this band will be put on sale alongside the spectrum in the 3.4GHz-3.8GHz band. The auction will be held in the following weeks, with the licences again due to be authorised by July 2023.