French regulator Arcep announced the forthcoming launch of the award process for 40 MHz of spectrum in the 2.6 GHz TDD band. This is to enable the transition to LTE for professional mobile radio (PMR) networks that still rely on 2G, as indicated in the public consultationpublished by the regulator in March 2018. Stakeholders have been invited to comment on the final details of the award procedure by 26 April, and applications for the spectrum resources will be accepted from 09 May.
The authourisations will be issued for very localized areas, based on business needs, with a maximum validity of ten years. In preparation for the award, Arcep said that it has already allocated spectrum resources for over 20 trials, mainly in the transport and energy sectors. Looking ahead, an assessment is underway at European level to evaluate the use of the 2.6 GHz band for 5G services.