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Exclusive: French state to raise 2.8 billion euros from 5G spectrum sale

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PARIS (Reuters) - The French state will receive about 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in proceeds from the sale of the country’s 5G spectrum sale following an auction that ended on Thursday, the country’s telecoms regulator said.

The sale, overseen by telecoms regulator Arcep, caps a year-long process for mobile carriers Orange, Altice Europe’s SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad. The four companies are competing for the acquisition of 11 blocks of 10 Megahertz (MHz), or 110 MHz.

Following 17 rounds over three days, the cost of a single block reached a final price of 126 million euros on Thursday, Arcep said, confirming an earlier report by Reuters.

This brings the total price for the whole spectrum to 2.8 billion euros, which is 630 million euros more than the floor price the government had set.

The sale comprised a total of 310 Megahertz (MHz). The government had already agreed to sell a block of 50 MHz to each telecoms operator for 350 million euros, or 1.4 billion euros in total.

The remaining 110 MHz that were on sale reached a final price of 126 million euros per block on Thursday, bringing the total amount yielded from the auction to 1.39 billion euros.

Orange was attributed four blocks, followed by SFR (3 blocks), Bouygues Telecom (2 blocks) and Iliad (2 blocks), Arcep said.

($1 = 0.8517 euros)

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Additional reporting by Gwénaëlle Barziz; Editing by Sarah White and David Evans

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