France's telecom majors in 4G frequency auction
France's four main operators submitted bids ahead of Thursday's deadline for frequencies to build fourth-generation mobile telephone networks needed to keep up with the explosion of smartphones.
Orange, Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Free all submitted bids for 14 lots on offer in the 2.6 gigahertz range, France's Arcep telecommunciations regulator said.
The frequencies, primarily for use in urban areas, were up for bidding at 700 million euros ($972 million), with the results expected in mid-October.
Bids for the 800 megahertz frequencies, more adapted for use in rural regions but carrying a higher price tag of 1.8 billion euros, close on December 15 with licenses to be awarded in early 2012.
Operators are keen to roll out fourth generation mobile networks to keep up with the explosion of Internet-capable smartphones as they offer transfer speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, as fast as home fibre optic connections.
Current third generation mobile networks offer speeds of only several megabits.
© 2011 AFP