France completes 700MHz switchover

France has completed the transfer of the 700MHz frequency band from broadcasting to mobile applications.

Completion of the project, which was designed to provide additional capacity for 4G and 5G mobile applications, comes over four years after the government kicked the process off. The Ile-de-France region was the first to switch, in April 2016 to coincide with the rollout of HD services on the digital-terrestrial platform.

The overall process was implemented in 14 separate phases, with a region in south-eastern France bordering Italy the last to go.  The last phase of swithing off DTT signals took place on the week beginning June 24 in an area around Grenoble.

Mobile operators have been authorised to use the band in certain areas since April 2016.

The 700MHz band is seen as highly suitable for providing mobile coverage in rural areas and providing in-building coverage.

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