Paris, 13 May 2004
- In 2002, some frequencies were returned to ART due to wireless local loop market consolidation, and to the ART first procedure of controlling WLL operators deployment obligations.
- In 2003, a public consultation was published on the conditions of use and the allocation policy for radio frequencies in the 3,5 GHz, 26 GHz, 28 GHz and 32 GHz bands. As for Metropolitan France, only one contributor showed interest in the available 3.5 GHz resources. A 15 MHz duplex channel has thus been allocated to him on all 22 regions of Metropolitan France.
- During the second control of WLL operators deployment obligations, one operator decided to return its 3.5 GHz frequency duplex channel to ART.
Two operators currently have wireless local loop (WLL) licences within Metropolitan France. Since 2000 - time when WLL licenses were first assigned, some changes have taken place in France:
Thus, since December 2003, a 15 MHz duplex channel has been available on all 22 regions of Metropolitan France in the 3.5 GHz band.
Operators have continued their deployment in the 26 GHz band but none has requested any additional frequencies from ART, even though several 112 MHz duplex channels are available in this band.
Since February 2004, some have shown interest in the 15 MHz duplex channel available in France. This renewed interest in the 3.5 GHz band appears to be related to the emergence of WIMAX technology, which does not currently concern the 26 GHz band.
ART has received requests for various coverage areas: national, multi-regional, departmental and smaller. As the number of requests might exceed the available resources, ART shall suspend the attribution of 3.5 GHz frequencies.
In order to ensure that the resources made available by the return of some 3.5 GHz frequencies are allocated in an objective, transparent and non-discriminatory way, ART will launch a public consultation early this summer. The purpose of this consultation is be to determine the degree of market interest in the WIMAX technology and if other frequency bands (3.4 - 3.8 GHz) should be made available for wireless local loop activities.
This consultation will also deal with the establishment of new frequency allocation methods, which will include selection procedures for the areas where demand exceeds available resources.
New frequency allocation methods will be published upon completion of this public consultation, which will be closed in September 2004.