Uncertainty over networks behind delay on French 5G spectrum: FFT

PARIS (Reuters) - Uncertainty over which telecom networks could be used is one of the reasons as to why France is likely to delay its 5G spectrum auction, the head of the French telecoms federation said on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that France is likely to delay its 5G spectrum auction until at least March 2020, three months later than originally scheduled.

“The telecom operators are impatient, but we need clarification on which provider will be used, in order to go forward with our colossal investments in the long term,” Arthur Dreyfuss, head of the FFT French telecoms federation, told BFM Business.

Dreyfuss also said that any plans to ban China’s Huawei from the future French 5G network could lead to even more delays.

“If tomorrow, a network provider was banned, France would have another delay,” he said.

France’s last spectrum auction in 2015 raised 2.8 billion euros ($3.10 billion) for state coffers. Under the current plan, the 5G frequency blocs up for grabs are within the 3.4-3.8 gigahertz bandwidth.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Dominique Vidalon