June 5, 2020 / 10:13 PM / 2 months ago

France wants 5G auction in September, junior minister tells Le Figaro

FILE PHOTO: French Junior Economy Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher poses after an interview with Reuters in Paris, France, October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - France wants to launch its planned auction of 5G frequencies in September so that the fifth generation mobile network can be deployed by year-end, junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said in remarks published on Friday.

In February, telecoms regulator Arcep had said it was hoping to award the 5G licences by June, but after France went into coronavirus lockdown mid-March, Arcep postponed the sale and said a new date would depend on the progression of the health crisis.

“Our objective, and I have communicated it to Arcep, is that the auctions be launched quickly,” Pannier-Runacher told Le Figaro newspaper in an interview. “September is a reasonable objective... for a launch of 5G before the end of the year.”

Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR had already submitted tender package for some frequencies in February.

Reporting by John Irish, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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