updated 11:35 am EDT, Mon May 16, 2011
Sale will open up 3rd largest European market
The French government is finalizing the terms for its upcoming auction of 4G bandwidth, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro. France represents the third-largest telecom market in Europe after Germany and the UK. It will be auctioning off four lots of the premium 800MHz range and an unspecified number of lots for the 2.6GHz band. France hopes to generate at least $3.5 billion from the auction.
The 800MHz band is perceived as providing higher quality transmission over long distances.
France has intentionally broken the sale of the 800MHz band into several lots to prevent it being grabbed up by a big player such as France Telecom.
The official bidding process will begin in June. Bids will have to be submitted in September. The winning bids for 2.6GHz will be announced in October and November for the 800MHz range.