The French government launched the sale of fourth-generation mobile spectrum on Thursday and confirmed it plans to raise a minimum of 2.5 billion euros ($2.78 billion).

Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron and Axelle Lemaire, junior minister for the digital economy, confirmed in a statement that the government aims to sell six blocks of 4G spectrum in the 700 megahertz frequency band for at least 416 million euros each.

The government has set caps on the total amount of 700 MHz spectrum that can be held by each of France’s four telecom operators, with none allowed to possess more than three blocks.

France is seeking to encourage investment in communications infrastructure by Orange, Numericable-SFR, Bouygues and Iliad.

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Laurence Frost)

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