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France’s ARCEP completes first day of 700MHz auction

ARCEPFrench telecom regulator ARCEP has announced the successful completion of the first day of its auction of 700MHz spectrum.

The auction saw the achievement of a price of €451 million for a block of 5MHz of 700MHz spectrum at the seventh round. ARCEP said the auction would continue today (Tuesday) with an eighth round because the cumulative demand for the competing candidates is still in excess of the six blocks o spectrum being auctioned. The eighth round will launch with a price of €456 million per block.

Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR are competing for the highly-valued spectrum currently used for digital-terrestrial broadcasting but now earmarked for mobile broadband applications. ARCEP had set a starting price of €416 million per block at the start of Monday, increasing the price block by €5 million for each round of bids.

The Monday auction was interrupted briefly at the end of the morning to join a moment of tribute to the victims of the terrorist action in Paris on Friday evening.